One Colorado Announces the 2019 Western Slope Ally Award Recipients

Grand Junction, CO — One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Coloradans announces the 2019 Western Slope Ally Award Recipients. 

2019 Western Slope Ally Award Recipients

Liz Sinclair
John Mok-Lamme
Carbondale Middle School

The Western Slope Ally Awards is an opportunity for LGBTQ Coloradans to honor the commitment of allies who have been a voice for LGBTQ equality on the western slope. Last year’s awardees were Senator Don Coram (R-Montrose), Reverend Jeffrey Dodson, and Devin Pinkston and Cody Neal of PFLAG Grand Junction. 

Liz Sinclair, owner of Charlie Dwellington’s in Grand Junction, moved to Colorado from California more than a decade ago.  She wanted to create a friendly local pub for locals — all locals. No one should have to worry about whether they will be denied service or face hostility as they go about their daily lives. Sinclair is dedicated to showing her support to the LGBTQ community in Grand Junction by opening her doors for pride events, vigils, weddings, and community events. 

Eight years ago before John Mok-Lamme co-founded Karis, Inc. and started The House, a safe place for homeless youth, there was nothing between Denver, Colorado and Provo, Utah for homeless youth. Offering housing, counseling, mentoring and path to stability, The House, has provided shelter for more than 200 youths annually.  Knowing that 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ, John’s leadership as Executive Director helped establish LGBTQ-friendly environments to be welcoming and accessible as they seek help and support. John has worked tirelessly to serve at-risk youth on the Western Slope with commitment and passion to ending youth homelessness.

When the students at Carbondale Middle School asked why they didn’t have a pride parade in Carbondale, they were told it was because no one had ever planned one. So the student’s planned one.  Driven to show their community that everyone is welcome, the students at Carbondale Middle School, with the support of the school and local community members, went to the City Council and obtained the permits to hold the first-ever Pride Parade and Festival in Carbondale. The event told the community, and most importantly fellow students, that Carbondale Middle School supports all students as their authentic selves.

“As a statewide advocacy organization for LGBTQ Coloradans, it’s important to highlight the critical, life-saving work that people are doing to build a better Colorado for all. By recognizing the leadership of our youth and community-building champions, we honor the impact that individuals and groups of people can have on entire regions of our state.”
Daniel Ramos, Executive Director, One Colorado

“It’s wonderful to see allies on the Western Slope being acknowledged for their hard work and dedication to LGBTQ issues.  As our community and voices grow, having the support of allies like these enrich us all and open important conversations about equality.”
Heidi Hess, Western Slope Organizer, One Colorado

The 2019 Western Slope Ally Awards will be held Saturday, October 12th, 2019 at 5:30 PM at the Colorado Mesa University University Center, 1455 N 12th St, Grand Junction, CO 81501. Proceeds from this event will fund One Colorado Education Fund, a 501(c)3 organization. Tickets are available to purchase now for $40 on One Colorado’s website at https://onecolorado.salsalabs.org/westernslopeaa

The 2019 Western Slope Ally Awards concludes a weekend of One Colorado events on the western slope, with the last two stops of the One Colorado For All Statewide Tour. The Grand Junction Tour Stop is Friday, October 11th at 5:30 PM at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, and the Montrose Tour Stop is Saturday, October 12th at 1:30 PM at CASA Youth Access Center. Both tour stops are free and open to the public. 

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