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TODAY: Chick-fer-gAy Appreciation Day to benefit local gay causes

SAN DIEGO -- In response to the thousands of Americans who earlier this month packed up their minivans and headed to Chick-Fil-A restaurants nationwide to participate in "Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day" -- a day dedicated to showing support for the company's anti-gay stances and contributions -- Urban Mo's Bar & Grill and its family of restaurants have decided to give community members the opportunity support local charities that are supportive of the LGBT community with Chick-fer-gAy Appreciation Day, taking place today from 4-11 pm.

Employees of the Mo's Universe family of restaurants came up with the idea for Chick-fer-gAy Appreciation Day and the idea is simple: Neighbors are invited to come together for a meal, a good time, and to raise money for charities that work hard every day to make the world a better place.

Tonight, $3 from every chicken sandwich purchased at Urban Mo's will be given back to the three charities that have been selected to benefit from the event: San Diego Remembers, Being Alive and Family Matters. Representatives from each of these organizations will be on site throughout the evening to talk to customers about their cause and accept additional donations.

Employees of the company will also be encouraged to contribute, with some agreeing to donate their tips for the evening to the selected causes.

Chris Shaw, president of Urban Mo's Bar & Grill, Baja Betty's, Gossip Grill & Hillcrest Brewing Company, has agreed to match contributions made by his employees, saying "Our 'family' values are also community values. We strive to be a welcoming and safe place for everyone- from any walk of life, as long as you are true to yourself and the best person you can be."

Eddie Reynoso, an employee at Mo's Universe, hopes that community members will line-up at his restaurant tonight to support the community, and even invited Chick-Fil-A's CEO to participate.

"We didn’t invent the Chicken Sandwich - just the cause. We have plucked this opportunity to invite those who stand against us to stand with us and give our time and money to better the lives of everyone," Reynoso said. "I challenge Mr. Cathy and Mr Huckabee to take a day and join us in sunny San Diego, where together we can volunteer our time and tour these three worthy organizations whose work only serves to uplift and give flight to humanity."

A Facebook page has been set up for the Chick-fer-gAy Appreciation Day project, and other restaurants are encouraged to sign-on and host similar events. Additional information is HERE.

Urban Mo's Bar & Grill is located at 308 University Ave. in Hillcrest.

About San Diego Remembers

San Diego Remembers' mission is to raise awareness of hate crimes in our community and to remember those who are or were victims of acts of hate and/or violence because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“We are a small group of local San Diegan’s that strive to make a difference in our community. We respect each other for our unique individuality, and as a whole press for the importance of equality for all," says the organization's website.

Donations can be sent to San Diego Remembers ant PO Box 34662, San Diego, CA 92163.

More information HERE.

About Being Alive

Being Alive San Diego is a volunteer driven organization that works to enrich and enhance the personal dignity and equality of life of people living with AIDS and HIV through mutual support, access to information, public advocacy and social interaction.

From its website: "At least 15,000 San Diegans are HIV-positive or have AIDS. Many more people are estimated to have HIV, but are not yet diagnosed, and 76% of San Diegans with HIV/AIDS live below the federal poverty level, which adds economic stress to their daily physical challenges."

Being Alive San Diego announced on August 2nd that it would cease operations by months end if further funding could not be secured.

Donations to Being Alive San Diego can be made online.

More information HERE.

About Family Matters

Family Matters is the family program at the San Diego LGBT Community Center and is designed to provide resources, education, support and opportunities for community engagement for LGBT-headed families and those considering parenthood.

From the provision of school supplies and basics to families impacted by the financial downturn, to workshops focused on parenting skills, school choice, resources for adoption/fostering options and including family activities, Family Matters provides LGBT-headed families the support and resources many need to develop and sustain healthy and affirming child and family development. This array of educational support and resources, coupled with affirming social opportunities, is provided to approximately 2,100 LGBT parents, grandparents, relatives and their children each year.

Donations can be made at online. Please designate "Family Matters."

More information HERE.