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Balance Tampa Bay is a new group for gay men and women that has events where you can meet new friends, connect to the community, help others, and network.. Hotspots spoke with group leader James Garas to learn more about the organization.

balance-tampa-bay-0
New social group in Tampa Bay strives to make a difference

Balance Tampa Bay is a new group for gay men and women that has events where you can meet new friends, connect to the community, help others, and network.. Hotspots spoke with group leader James Garas to learn more about the organization.

Hotspots Magazine: What is the mission of Balance?

James Garas: We are a group of like-minded people seeking to balance our lives in the gay community and beyond in a whole and authentic way. Together, we hope to encourage our role models, develop healthy peer connections and raise up a new generation of leaders. We do this through outreach to the gay community, philanthropy to the community at large, fellowship and personal development events and of course, we hope to have a lot of fun along the way.

When did it start?

Our first official event was a large BBQ in April 2011 where we shared our vision, generated ideas and recruited leaders, who we call “Stewards.”

How many members?

That is unknown. There were originally seven founding members. The organization is event based and all are welcome. We currently have 310 “likes” on Facebook and we typically have 30-50 people at any event.

What are some of the events that you’ve had?

Every month we do both a Third Thursday Happy Hour for fellowship and a philanthropy/outreach event. We hosted a Kickball for Kids Tournament where the winning team got to pick for proceeds to benefit a number of children-based organizations in town. The winning team chose the Children’s Home. We spent the day at Feeding America-Tampa Bay Warehouse, we participated in Christmas in July- Feeding the homeless event through Hyde Park United Methodist Church. We hosted a costume party “Gladiators for a Cure” to benefit Ovarian Cancer research which was a huge success. Most recently we had a great time with Keeping Tampa Bay Beautiful/ Coastal Cleanup on Davis Island Dog park.

Please provide us with a list of upcoming events.

November 6, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Feeding the Homeless
Hyde Park United Methodist Church

November 17, 6 to 8 p.m.

Happy Hour/Networking Social
Timpano’s

November 20, 6 to 9 p.m.

Out of the Closet Clothes Drive
Hamburger Mary’s Tampa

December 5, 8 to 11 p.m.

Party for Presents
Gbar

For further information on Balance Tampa Bay, visit Facebook.com/BalanceTampaBay or email James at BalanceTampaBay@gmail.com

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