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SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Pride Parade organization announced the inaugural You Ball Fundraising Gala, taking place on Thursday, June 1 at 6 p.m. in MGM Springfield’s Aria Ballroom. With a Met Gala-inspired Fabergè egg theme, the You Ball will celebrate the diverse beauty, uniqueness, and prestige of the LGBTQIA+ community.

“My team and I are truly honored to produce Springfield’s Pride Parade and You Ball Fundraising Gala,” said Taurean Bethea, founder and CEO of Springfield Pride Parade. “The Fabergè egg was selected as the first You Ball theme because of its opulence and 50-plus variations of handcrafted art. It flawlessly represents this amazing community by highlighting that we all may show up in different variations, yet we are all the same.”

The gala will feature music, dining options, performances, and conversations with parade organizers and Springfield city officials. Proceeds from the You Ball Fundraising Gala will directly support the Springfield Pride Parade organization’s Safe Space program, which provides Springfield public-school students with a safe environment to effectively communicate, build self-confidence, work on their social and emotional skills, develop healthy relationships, and focus on community engagement.

Sponsored by MassMutual, MGM Springfield, Springfield Technical Community College, and the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services, the event aims to be an inspirational evening to celebrate and honor the region’s LGBTQIA+ and ally business owners, professionals, and community leaders.

For more information on You Ball tickets, table sponsorships, and gala program marketing inquiries, visit www.springfieldprideparade.org/youball.

June is Pride Month, with citizens and members of the LGBTQIA+ community and allies celebrating progress in equity and inclusivity. The Springfield Pride Parade continues to be a proactive advocate for LGBTQIA+ perspectives. The Safe Space Initiative is asking local businesses for their commitment to combat hate speech, hateful actions, or aggression against the LGBTQIA+ community. Current Safe Spaces include Dewey’s Jazz Lounge, TD Bank, Focus Springfield, White Lion Brewery, Starbucks, Springfield Public Schools, Granny’s Baking Table, Monsoon Roastery, Del Rey Taqueria, Tapestry Health, and Springfield City Hall.