Each year, our beneficiaries are carefully chosen by The Cherry Fund board for the valuable services they provide the gay and lesbian community. This demonstrates our support for the many organizations that have a positive effect on the lives of thousands of gays and lesbians in the Washington, DC area and across the country.
Whether it's making a future with your partner or making the grade at school, Lambda Legal leads the fight so all of us can live our lives and pursue our dreams without having to face barriers because we're gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or have HIV.
Lambda Legal carries out its legal work principally through test cases selected for the likelihood of their success in establishing positive legal precedents that will affect lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV. From our offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta and Dallas, Lambda Legal's staff of attorneys work on a wide range of cases, with our docket averaging over 50 cases at any given time.
Lambda Legal also maintains a national network of volunteer Cooperating Attorneys, which widens the scope of our legal work and allows attorneys, legal workers and law students to become involved in our program by working with our legal staff.
Mission Statement: Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) is a national, non-profit legal services, watchdog and policy organization dedicated to ending discrimination against and harassment of military personnel affected by "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and related forms of intolerance. Since 1993, SLDN has provided free, confidential legal counsel to more than 7,000 men and women in uniform. In 2005 alone, SLDN has saved a record three dozen military careers, responded to 900 calls for assistance, and helped save the retirement benefits (worth as much as $1 million each) of at least 6 men and women targeted under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
The SLDN legal team - two attorneys and a paralegal - maintained an average open case load of 110 cases throughout 2005. The organization also pressed forward in its constitutional challenge to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Oral arguments in Cook v. Rumsfeld, SLDN's constitutional challenge to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," were held in Boston in July. SLDN also helped to garner the support of more than 100 Members of Congress for the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, a bill introduced this year to repeal the military's gay ban. "Not since 1993," the Boston Phoenix recently reported, "has the gays-in-the-military debate garnered this much attention."
Mission Statement: Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) is a national, non-profit legal services, watchdog and policy organization dedicated to ending discrimination against and harassment of military personnel affected by "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and related forms of intolerance.
Founded in 1990, the Mautner Project is the only national organization dedicated to lesbians with cancer, their partners and caregivers. Our mission is to improve the health and well-being of women who partner with women (WPW) and their families by: Delivering services and support to lesbians/WPW with cancer, their families and caregivers; Educating lesbians/WPW about important health issues; Educating healthcare providers about the needs and concerns of their lesbian/WPW clients; Promoting lesbian/WPW health through research, advocacy, and activism.
Mission Statement: The Mautner Project improves the health of lesbians and their families through advocacy, education, research, and direct service. We envision a healthcare system that is guided by social justice and responsive to the needs of all people.
The Center - Home for GLBT in Metro DC
Until recently, Metropolitan Washington, DC was one of the few major urban areas that had no GLBT community center. With financial support of the Cherry Fund, however, that is no longer the case. The Center, as it is commonly known, was formally incorporated last year. Since its founding, the Center has been engaged in developing plans for a large-scale center to serve the community's needs and interests. Not content to wait for those plans to be realized, however, the Center has already begun developing and producing its "Center Without Walls" programs geared toward strengthening the community and bringing its members closer together even before the first brick is laid. Also in the works for this year is the opening of a temporary space for the Center's offices, community conference and meeting rooms, and a computer lab. In the past several years, the Cherry Fund has donated almost $300,000 to this worthy cause. The Cherry Fund will again make a donation to aid in the development of the Center this year.
Mission Statement: The Center's mission is to celebrate, strengthen, and support community among the GLBT residents and organizations of Metropolitan Washington, DC.