Tag Archives: Curtis Thornhill

Grand opening of Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th for LGBTQ Youth



 “ The Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF) is proud to announce the opening of Tucson’s newest youth center, the Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th. To mark the grand opening, SAAF invites the community and media representatives to attend a Ribbon Cutting and Open House on January 18, 2018 from 11:30-1pm at the Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th, 526 North 4th Avenue.

 The objective of the Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th is to serve youth through programming, direct client services, and community engagement, with a direct focus on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) youth. The central program of the Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th is Eon, a safe space for LGBTQ & allied youth. At Eon, youth can work on homework, access art programming through a collaborative with the Museum of Contemporary Art, participate in peer-to-peer education opportunities and harm-reduction, empowerment-driven programming. In addition to Eon, SAAF will collocate other youth programming at the Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th in order to best serve the community.

 The center is named after Curtis Thornhill, originally from southern Arizona. Mr. Thornhill said: “I am very excited to be part of a project giving youth, especially LGBTQ youth, a safe space in southern Arizona. The Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th will remind our whole community that our youth are loved and welcome.”

 SAAF’s Executive Director, Wendell Hicks, added: “SAAF has always been driven by transformative action. The Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th will change and save the lives of many, many youths and I couldn’t be prouder of that.” Adam Ragan, SAAF’s Associate Director of LGBTQ Initiatives noted: “What started a couple years ago as a dream of a few in the community is now a reality. Youth will have a safe space to access programs, education, art, and most importantly, each other. We know the power of peer-to-peer programming can really impact the lives of youth for years to come.”

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New SAAF Center for LGBTQ Youth to open in 2017

Date:            For Immediate Release, 1/10/2017
Contact:       Wendell Hicks,Executive Director
Ethan Smith Cox, Director of Development
(520) 547-6105
SAAF is very excited to announce its newest project to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community, the Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th- A SAAF Place for Youth. This project will create a dedicated space on 4th avenue which will house several of SAAF’s LGBTQ youth-centered prevention programs, including Eon, HIV Youth Peer Education (HYPE), and Arizona’s Life Links for Youth (Project ALLY). This newest initiative is being funded through a $1.8 million capital campaign which began in March 2016 and has raised more than $1.5 million, to date.
Curtis Thornhill, a Tucson native who now calls Salt Lake City “home”, has provided the lead gift for the campaign and has challenged SAAF to raise an additional $300,000 by the end of March 2017. Thornhill stated, “I was born in Tucson and grew up in southern Arizona. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the love and support of amazing mentors who have guided and challenged me to reach my full potential. The Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th is an opportunity to equip a new generation with the same gifts.”
The Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th will provide a safe space as well as skills-building, advocacy, and culturally competent care to LGBTQ youth and their allies ages 13-26. SAAF Executive Director Wendell Hicks, says, “Since taking over many initiatives from Wingspan, southern Arizona’s LGBTQ community center for more than a quarter century, 2 & ½ years ago, we here at SAAF have searched for the right way to re-launch LGBTQ programming in Tucson in a sustainable way that was directly responsive to community needs and immediately addressed gaps in services. The Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th will do just that. We are so fortunate for the support of Mr. Thornhill as well as the nearly 100 other donors to the campaign, so far.”
Members of the media are invited to an invitation-only groundbreaking event taking place on Tuesday January 24, 2017 at 4:00pm at the Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th, located at 526 North 4th Avenue. Mr. Thornhill and SAAF staff will be available for interviews prior to the event. Please contact Ethan Smith Cox, SAAF Director of Development, at (520) 547-6105, to schedule an interview time.
For more information, visit www.centeron4th.org.