One-N-Ten is One in a Million
On August 18, 2018, dancer/Auctiontainer Letitia Frye took the stage with her partner Jordyn Reyes in an annual competition to help raise funds for the Phoenix-based LGBTQ youth organization, One-N-Ten. This was a bittersweet moment for Frye, as her boyfriend’s transgender son, Aksel, had taken his own life this past spring. She dedicated the dance to him.
A week before the dance, Frye broke her ankle. Nothing would stop her from performing and she also helped raise over $30K for the organization. The record-breaking total raised was $151K, according to outgoing development director Travis Shumake.
Jordyn Reyes and Letitia Frye dancing
One-N-Ten has been serving LGBTQ youth for over 26 years. For Nathaniel (Nate) Rhoton, it began as a reaction to the number of LGBT youth that had no place to go other than the HIV testing clinic in town. Rhoton wanted to help these youth, as many of them were homeless, and estranged by their families for coming out.
One-N-Ten started as a once a week support meeting. The name was chosen because the statistics showed that one in ten teens in high school were self-identified as LGBTQ.
One-N-Ten has five different programs it now offers:
Youth Centers– The main youth center is located in downtown Phoenix. The center is open 3PM-7PM daily for LGBTQ youth (ages 11-24) to meet, interact, and learn. There is a wide spectrum of programs that are offered to those who attend. There are other youth centers in Mesa, Flagstaff, West Valley, Scottsdale, and Queen Creek. These satellite programs only offer programs once a week.
Promise Of a New Day- P.O.N.D. program Many teens are rejected by their families, and have no place to go except the streets, and so the POND program offers short term housing solutions, with long term planning. In this program youth are provided life skills to be able to transition into independent living.
QBLC In addition to being homeless, a number of LGBTQ teens drop out of high school because of their living situation and that they are victims of bullying. QBLC is an online program that students can access the program through the center and earn their high school diploma.
YES Program Because many of the LGBTQ are disenfranchised, they lack independent living skills to become successful adults. The YES program not only teaches skills like how to fill out a resume, rent an apartment and balance a checkbook, they also have connections to area businesses to provide job placement opportunities.
Camp OUTdoors! This is largest LGBTQ camp in the country (possibly the world), and last year a 175 youth attended from three different countries. The camp provides over 50 different workshops for LGBTQ youth and is run with 60 volunteers.
Letitia Frye has been a volunteer at Camp OUTdoors! for five years. She says, “It is such a unique experience to be around these amazing kids. They are truly inspirational.”
Spread The Love
The Dancing for One-N-Ten is one of two large fundraising events, the other is their annual Fresh Brunch. Frye was invited to act as an auctioneer for Fresh Brunch nine years ago and she was immediately engaged in the organization and their mission. Frye has continued to help then raise funds for them since then, each year breaking the totals from the previous year. What started as an event mostly from the affluent “gayborhood” in downtown has grown into many more straight advocates from all around the state in attendance.
The title sponsor for the Dancing for One-n-Ten event was Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Tito’s has been supporting One-N-Ten for a number of years, and prior to their involvement, the name of the program was the Dancing with the Bars. A few area bars would compete with their own dancing pair for the coveted title, all while supporting a great cause.
Subyn Wadsworth, Letitia Frye, Jordyn Reyes, and Courtney Bennett at the One-N-Ten Dancing event
The couples competing now are much more involved in raising funds for the event and interacting directly with One-N-Ten in the process.
Tito’s provides not only their tasty vodka creations for the event, they also helped raise funds and donated all their proceeds from the event to One-N-Ten.
Courtney Bennett, Arizona and New Mexico’s Tito representative, says, “This is all part of our ‘Love, Tito’s!’ initiative.”
As Tito Beveridge, their founder began building his new vodka business in Austin, Texas, he received a call from a local non-profit asking if he could donate some vodka for their fundraising event. He brought over some cases and told them, “If you like it, tell 20 of your closest friends.” Fortunately, for Tito’s, that is exactly what happened, and in addition, the brand became synonymous with charity events. The name, ‘Love, Tito’s’ refers to how Tito would sign notes he would send along with the vodka to charitable events.
Tito has taken the charitable a step further in his organization by empowering every member of his team to give to charitable organizations they are passionate about in their own communities. One-N-Ten is such an organization for Courtney Bennett. The more vodka Bennett sells for the company, the more money is added to her philanthropic budget. The more charity events Tito’s gives to, the more vodka the company sells. It is what Tito refers to as the “Double Give” gift of giving.