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Springfield’s CORAL is Puttin’ on the Ritz

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The Coalition of Rainbow Alliances (CORAL) is working diligently to prepare for The Ritz gala dinner, one of the year’s largest events for the central Illinois LGBTQ community. In its seventh year, The Ritz is a casually elegant affair that features a three-course dinner, an evening of dancing, and a celebration of the progress made by the LGBTQ community during the past two years.

The theme for this year’s event is “Everyone Still Counts” in recognition of the continued work to combat the opposition to limit minority community rights and promoting every voice in the upcoming elections. CORAL has been working to support all members of the LGBTQ community since its inception in 2002 and presents its annual community services awards at this dinner event. This year’s Ritz will take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield rom 5:30 until 11:00 p.m. on March 26.

CORAL Board President Jim Barr said, “Even though the pandemic limited us in some ways, it has allowed us to grow in other ways.  We have continued to serve our LGBT community, provided opportunities for our folks to help others, and developed relationships with the wider community. This event will celebrate our work in the LGBT and wider community.”

CORAL has accomplished a lot since the previous Ritz dinner. During this pandemic, CORAL has adapted their regular events to branch out with serving the wider community.  With conducting food, cleaning, personal hygiene item drives, CORAL has been able to stock micro-pantries at the Boys and Girls Club and Fifth Street Renaissance/SARA Center, provide cleaning and personal hygiene items to Phoenix Center and monetary funds to the Central Illinois Food Bank. 

Additionally, CORAL has lent a helping hand to Habitat for Humanity in their construction of a home and has participated with other community groups’ special events such as the Habitat for Humanity Walk, Black Lives Matter protests, and Central Illinois Suicide Prevention Walk. CORAL will celebrate these achievements and the people who made them possible at The Ritz

The Coalition of Rainbow Alliances is a non-profit volunteer group that facilitates networking and community for the Central Illinois lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, their families, friends, and the interest groups that support them. CORAL supports the LGBTQ community by hosting a variety of events and service projects throughout the year. For more information, please visit springfieldcoral.org or email [email protected].

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