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Saturday, Sept. 6: "Pizza Klatch Gayla: Slice of the Good Life"

Washington Center for the Performing Arts

The Righteous Mothers

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Vicci Martinez, Tacoma native and finalist on NBC's The Voice will perform at the Pizza Klatch Gayla: A Slice of the Good Life, Saturday, Sept. 6. Also on tap will be the outrageously funny singing group The Righteous Mothers. There will be a silent auction with items ranging from a wine tasting for 15 people; a night at Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; a Seattle Storm fan pack and more.

Featured speakers include Congressman Denny Heck, Sen. Karen Fraser, Rep. Laurie Jinkins and Marissa Rathbone of the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Pizza Klatch provides support groups with free pizza for LGBTQ youth and allies in nine different Thurston County high schools. The grassroots organization began in 2007 in response to a rash of suicides in the Thurston County schools by LGBTQ students, or those perceived to be LGBTQ. All of the meetings take place during the lunch periods and each is overseen by a trained facilitator. Positive response from principals, administrators, counselors, parents and students have made it clear that these groups are a necessity for reducing bullying on campus, many students reporting Pizza Klatch is the reason they keep attending school.

The 16 groups serving approximately 250 youth prevent suicides and reduce bullying, according to Pizza Klatch board president Lynn Grotsky. "I am amazed how far this organization has come in such a short time," Grotsky said. "We started one after-school group back in 2007 (and now) we can't keep up with the demand."

Bill Lahmann, past superintendent of the Olympia School District said, "I saw the positive impact Pizza Klatch had on our schools. I am a believer and a supporter. Not only does Pizza Klatch make a difference in students' lives but it changes the culture of the school."

Other events at the Gayla include a youth art show, specialty wine and beers, advice booth run by teenagers, and a Panowicz Balloon Pop with a chance to win jewelry worth up to $1,500.

PIZZA KLATCH GAYLA: SLICE OF THE GOOD LIFE, 5:30 p.m. VIP reception, 7 p.m., auction, art show and other activities, 8:30 p.m. concert, Saturday, Sept. 6, Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia, $12-$147, 360.753.8586

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