Rock County, Wisconsin- September 24, 2014 – On Sunday October 12th 2014 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Ruby Project WI will proudly host the 2nd Annual Out in October Picnic and Resource Fair at the Rock County Courthouse Amphitheater in downtown Janesville. This year’s event is a “Celebration of Individualism” and proudly sponsored by BMO HARRIS Bank, Beloit Health Systems and many local donations with live entertainment by Rainbow Bridge. This family-friendly event is free to attend! We will celebrate residents of Rock County for who they are–their uniqueness and creativity. Businesses from all over Rock County will be offering vendor booths, resource organizations will be hosting informational booths, and so much more. Music, performers, snacks and special events will greet all who attend. Specialty events, such as face-painting and candy hunts, are planned for children and the young at heart. For many residents (family members and friends of victims, along with victims themselves) finding help during times of need can be challenging. Resources sometimes seem available in only in the larger cities. The goal of this community picnic is to make everyone aware of the local resources available, along with recognizing we are one community, not multiple different communities and we support all members of Rock County.
Last year over 200 people turned out to help say you’re not alone and we support all Rock County residents without regard to how you identify. However these days it doesn’t take much to become a target for bullying, and the consequences can be severe for both youth and adults. Bullying has lifelong effects on the victims. This is particularly true for the many Rock County community members who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, or allied (known as LGBTQA). LGBTQA-identified youth are more than 4 times as likely to attempt suicide as compared to non-LGBTQA-identified youth. This event is about coming together, showing support for individualism, finding out about resources of information and enjoying a safe space to be yourself while enjoying free food and entertainment.
Ruby Project WI, a 501c non-profit organization located in Janesville, continues to strive for education and empowerment for all Rock County LGBTQA-identified community members. Through hosting a variety of workshops, such as Bullying Signs and Strategies, LGBTQA Basics For Adults Working With LGBTQA-identified youth, and others, Ruby Project WI has been actively working within the entire community since May of 2011 to support and serve everyone, regardless of sexual identity or preference. “Being part of the Ruby Project WI for me is about taking a stand for human rights, acceptance of all and allowing people to shine in their own way. I am here for my child, the community’s children and my fellow adults,” says Theresa Carroll, Board of Directors President. “Out in October is a great opportunity to learn about self-expression and acceptance of fellow residents in Rock County.”
The event will take place on Sunday, October 12th, 2014 from 1pm-4pm at the Rock County Courthouse Amphitheater. In case of inclement weather, the entire event will be moved to Old Towne Mall for the duration. This is an open invitation to all Rock County community members to join in the celebration.