Celebrate 20 years with Metro Wellness

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Metro Wellness & Community Centers celebrates its 20th anniversary this weekend with two fabulous events.

On Friday, Sept. 13, 7:30 p.m., lesbian comedian Karen Williams — called “a laugh riot” by Curve magazine — takes the stage at Metro Wellness and Community Center, 3251 3rd Ave. N., St. Petersburg. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here.

The next night, Saturday, Sept. 14, 7 to 10 p.m., Metro presents its annual gala at the Tampa Garden Club, 2629 Bayshore Blvd., Tampa. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased here.

The event will feature guest appearances by Williams, as well as HIV activist and model Jack Mackenroth from Project Runway, and U.S. Representative Kathy Castor. There will also be live entertainment, elegant edibles, cocktails, a silent auction and more. Dress attire is semi-formal.

Both events will benefit the work Metro Wellness & Community Centers does for the HIV and LGBT communities throughout Tampa Bay.

For the past two decades, Metro has provided a variety of HIV, and other health and wellness programs, in addition to social networking opportunities, to these communities.

Metro was established in 1993, forming out of King of Peace Metropolitan Community Church in St. Petersburg. Since then, Metro has grown and expanded its services, with centers in St. Pete, Tampa, and New Port Richey and more than 90 staff members.

“We started with nine clients and today we service over 9,000,” said Chris Rudisill, director of LGBT programming.

By the end of the year, not only will both the Ybor City and St. Petersburg centers offer full-service medical clinics, but Metro will also open an LGBT Welcome Center on Central Avenue in St. Pete.

“We have so many LGBT tourists in this area,” Rudisill said. “It just makes so much sense.”

Visit Metro Wellness & Community Centers online for more information on the many programs offered.

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