Gay Surrey's IDAHO was an amazing night with over 120 people attending the evening at the Oatlands Park Hotel.
The evening kicked off with the release of 77 balloons highlighting the 77 countries around the world where it is still illegal to be gay.
The night unveiled the need to raise awareness to hidden homophobia in Surrey and how we as a community should be more visible and speak out in putting an end to hate crime.
Gino Meriano Chair of Gay Surrey, followed Bill Buckley's opening speech by talking about the meaning behind IDAHO and hate crime across the world and the importance of speaking out, forming new partnerships and their new stophate now campaign, QBOY's powerful speech about the young and his live performance of his latest single closed the evening on a high and created a new buzz for action".
Gino says" the night was electrifying there was so much support, not only from our community but from everyone, including organisations that believed more needed to be done, IDAHO Surrey was not about promoting the work our charity have done so far but the importance surrounding the "International Day Against Homophobia" as awhole. There is enough hatred in the world we need to come together as never before and reinforce the need for social acceptance and understanding, we are people to".
The committee were proud to have the following sponsors who also kindly donated to the night from Surrey Police, the Met police, Falcons Football Club, Blackfords Solicitors, THT, Connexions. and GYSE.
From creating IDAHO Surrey 2007 to the actual night itself the charity raised over £870 towards their campaign and wish to thank everyone that contributed towards making this happen.
Gino Meriano, Chair of Gay Surrey continues "this event proved there is so much more to do and as a result of this we will be launching the StopHate Now conference later this year. This will be part two of IDAHO Surrey 2007 offering everyone the opportunity to find out what has happened in Surrey since the 17th May and where we and our partners are heading for the future, more details will follow".
IDAHO is about awareness and your support is always needed, believe it or not we are already planning IDAHO Surrey 2008