Community raises funds to save local gay landmark | KOB 4

Community raises funds to save local gay landmark

Hawker Vanguard
Updated: October 19, 2020 10:20 PM
Created: October 19, 2020 09:30 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — On the corner of Central and Montclaire stands the deep purple building of the Albuquerque Social Club that some people feel resembles something closer to home.

The social club —or just ‘The Soch’—dates back to a time when being “out” wasn’t a safe option for people. Over the decades it’s become a landmark for the gay community. 

Like so many other businesses, the Albuquerque Social Club was hit with a wave of hardships when that pandemic started, which eventually led the club’s board members to make the tough decision to shut it down.

“That was the big decision that we had to make,” said Gail Starr, a board member. “There were many people saying, ‘Just let it go into bankruptcy. We can reopen next year.’”

The community, however, wasn’t prepared to let that happen. The Soch needed to come up with a lot of cash in a short amount of time to pay off debts and put them in a safe spot to wait out the virus.

“Can we save the social club— at least to get make it through to opening, hopefully? Absolutely. I was completely on board,” Starr said.

Nearly $60,000 was raised to help save the social club.

“I’ve only been coming here three and a half years — and I was infected by how amazing this place is,” Starr said.

Proceeds from yard sales, car washes, and even tamale sales helped The Soch get back on its feet. The fundraising efforts serve as another great example of the LGBTQ community and allies coming together as family.

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