Last night I attended a charity event for Banned4Life, a non-profit organization that recently launched in Orlando, Florida. The organization was started by Blake Lynch and his partner after he was denied to donate blood simply because he is gay.
“Earlier this year I went to donate blood in honor of my friend Emmy. She has sickle cell anemia and relies on blood donations to relieve her pain,” Blake says. Since coming up with the idea, the non-profit has grown dramatically and has gained national attention. It's been featured on Fox News, The Washington Times, Advocate, among others.
“To increase awareness of the policy we are going to be hosting blood drives around the nation where individuals can go to donate blood in place of those who are Banned4Life. It’s time to come together as a society so we can help save lives and end this outdated policy,” says Blake.
So how did I hear about this non-profit? Famor Botero (Take Me Home) is a filmmaker I worked with on a music video last year and an alumnus from my alma mater; he invited me to attend the charity event. After learning about the importance of raising awareness of this issue, I decided to take pictures at the event and write a blog post about it. Also, Botero will be directing a documentary about the foundation of Banned4Life and he will be following their progress and growth around the nation.
The reception turned out great. It took place at the Donnelly Gallery in Downtown Orlando. I met some amazing people with interesting stories, the night had a lounge feel thanks to the music provided by DJ Steve Fame, and the non-profit obtained some generous donations.
The next event will be held on Saturday the 18th at Drip Orlando. Check out some pictures from last night's event. For more pictures, feel free to visit my Facebook page.
Documentary director, Famor Botero
Famor Botero, Blake Lynch, and I
DJ Steve Fame
Emmy and her daughter
Famor Botero with camera operator Rendy Ramos
B4L Co-founder and guest