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A Love Supreme 

Jack Carrel, the new executive director for the Lesbian and Gay Community Center of New Orleans, speaks about the importance of the Feast of Love gala.

Jack Carrel came on board with The Hate Crimes Project just in time for the second annual Feast of Love gala, the primary fundraiser for the advocacy/support group, on Saturday, March 2, at St. Elizabeth's Orphanage (1314 Napoleon Ave.). Carrel, who three weeks ago became the executive director for the Lesbian and Gay Community Center of New Orleans, is also the project director for The Hate Crimes Project.

Carrel, who comes to the jobs with years of public-health experience, is hoping the fundraiser will help provide needed money for more outreach and prevention activities. "Every year, the pot of money that we use for our funding has been cut," says Carrel, who previously was the project supervisor for the Louisiana Office of Public Health's HIV/AIDS Program in New Orleans. "We have money for staff phone lines but not much for promotion or community awareness for the phone line (945-1103). We need more funding for educational outreach about hate crimes trying to do some prevention."

Carrel says he learned from his public-health work that HIV/AIDS patients share a common bond with hate-crimes victims: discrimination, oppression and low self-esteem. "It's pretty amazing, because when I talk to people who are survivors of hate crimes, many think some of it's a part of their life," says Carrel, a native of Bogalusa. "For many people in these communities, those little things are just out of their consciousness."

Last year's Feast of Love netted $6,000 for the Project, whose annual budget is $50,000. Carrel's goal this year is $10,000.

This year's honorary chairpersons are WYES's Peggy Scott Laborde, Sybil Morial, and Michael Sartisky of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. The patron party, beginning at 7:30 p.m., will feature a performance by the Pfister Sisters; the gala, beginning at 9 p.m., features entertainment by Debbie Davis & A Few Good Men, and Harry Mayronne Jr. Food will be provided by a number of local restaurants and chefs. Tickets are $75 for patrons (patron party and Feast of Love), or $50 for the gala only. Call 945-1103 for more information.

CORRECTIONS: In last week's Hot Pick, an incorrect date was provided for Drummer's Voices: Songs From the Beginning of Time, a program that was part of The Festival of African and African-American Music. The program took place on Saturday, not Friday. In last week's Restaurant Guide, we incorrectly listed Le Petit Cafe Coffee House's location as Metairie; the restaurant is located in Kenner at 2105 W. Esplanade Ave. Also, an incorrect phone number was listed for Lee Circle Restaurant; the correct number is 962-0915. Gambit Weekly regrets the errors.

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