Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



BROKEN 'HEARTS' CLUB: Fireball discontinued
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 3681 times since Wed Oct 12, 2005
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Fireball is no more.

In a press release, The Hearts Foundation—the organization that sponsored the annual fundraiser—officially pulled the plug on the February event. An e-mail from the foundation stated, in part: 'After an eight-year run, the Board has made a business decision that the financial return does not support a justifiable reason to continue with the Fireball Festival.'

The foundation went on to thank individuals for their 'financial and personal support.'

The foundation cited waning support and increasing production costs as factors that influenced their decision. 'It is common knowledge that attendance and support of the Fireball Festival has been on the decline in the past several years,' the release stated. 'At the same time, we have seen a dramatic increase in the cost of producing the event, not to mention the increased liability that comes with hosting a Festival the size and scope of Fireball.'

Financial documents obtained by Windy City Times would seem to support the financial claim. For the fiscal year ( FY ) that ended June 30, 2004, The Hearts Foundation claimed income of $433,828—and year-end assets of $9,924. ( For FY 2003, the numbers were $171,969 and $2,947, respectively. ) For FY 2004, $396,311 of the $433,828 went toward events, leaving $37,517 in net assets; $30,000 of that then went to HIV/AIDS non-profit organizations. ( For FY 2003, $72,595 went to those groups. ) As for where the $396,311 went, the money was allocated on everything from 'sound and visuals' ( $93,960 ) to 'fundraising-events' ( $113,211 ) to 'professional fees' ( $16,889 ) .

According to its press release, the Hearts Foundation raised and distributed 'in excess of $1 million' to various Chicagoland HIV/AIDS agencies between 1998 and 2004.

However, the statement also noted that 'Fireball 2005 did not produce a financial return that would have enabled [ the foundation ] to continue ... funding local agencies that perform the much needed direct work in the fight against HIV/AIDS.' ( According to the foundation's Web site, some of the potential 2005 grantees included Chicago House, Test Positive Aware Network, AIDS Legal Counsel, Vital Bridges and Heartland Alliance. ) If the foundation could not turn a profit that would benefit agencies, that development would directly conflict with the group's mission of supporting those organizations.

The foundation seemed convinced earlier this year that things were running more smoothly.

Scott Silverman, the organization's secretary, told Windy City Times in an interview published April 13 that ' [ t ] he fundraising [ results ] last year were less than what we anticipated. That should not have happened. We spent too much on our gala. The funds would've been allocated better if there had been more financial control—and that problem has been resolved.'

Although the stated intention of Fireball garnered applause in some circles when it was initially announced, the event came under increasing fire in recent years. From the beginning, some stated, the circuit party was a three-day hedonistic scene of sex and drugs. ( In fact, one citizen told Windy City Times 'It's about time' when informed of the event's cancellation. )

However, in the April interview Silverman stated that ' [ i ] t's very easy for [ someone ] to say 'Fireball causes drug abuse.' The drugs are already out there. It's too easy for people to point their fingers at us; we're not the villains. However, the one thing that I'm grateful for is that people are talking about crystal meth abuse.'

In addition, foundation board member Nenad Markovich talked about partying responsibly in a Feb. 23 Windy City Times article, saying that 'we have to educate the public that they can party without having a 'party.''

The foundation denied that the decision to cancel Fireball was related to criticism regarding drugs.

Rev. Stan Sloan, CEO of Chicago House, told Windy City Times that he felt the event had simply run its course. 'We at Chicago House have seen many events—like AIDS Ride—serve their lifetimes,' he said. 'If you look at Fireball over the years, it's definitely been a help to the HIV/AIDS community; however, you can't give what you don't have.' He also agreed with Silverman's assertion regarding drugs, adding that 'the whole crystal meth thing is so much bigger than circuit parties. I think the guys on the board of the Hearts Foundation were all well-intended. I'm sorry about everything that's happened, including what's happened to Mike Jackson. It's too easy ... to just look at just one group and try to pinpoint [ things ] .'

The folding of Fireball does not mean the end of the foundation, however. The release also stated that the foundation will remain an Illinois not-for-profit organization.

'Fireball is an event and Hearts Foundation is an organization, so the organization will continue on but the event won't continue any longer,' organization president Dennis Sneyers told Windy City Times.

So could this mean that another fundraiser will replace Fireball? 'We haven't made any decision yet regarding what we are going to do,' said Sneyers, who later indicated that something will probably take the event's place. 'It was a good decision [ to cancel Fireball ] , but it was heartfelt.'

This article shared 3681 times since Wed Oct 12, 2005
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Gay News

WORLD Indian commission, queer royals, MTV, Putin, attack in Jamaica
India's National Medical Commission has ordered publishers and medical schools to edit their textbooks and curricula to exclude discriminatory and unscientific portrayals of LGBTI people, according to Human Rights Watch. ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Foster-parent case, stars speak out, Texas youth, 'Queer Eye,' HIV
Americans United for Separation of Church and State and Lambda Legal, together with the law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), along ...

Gay News

WORLD Plus magazine, The Guardian, Dutch princess, anti-trans ruling
The largest circulated HIV publication in the country, Plus, unveiled its 25 Amazing People of the Year, per a press release. Just a few of the individuals are actor Billy Porter; Mandisa Nikita Dukashe: South African ...

Gay News

HHS awards $2.21B in FY2021 for HIV care, support services, medication
--From a press release - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced approximately $2.21 billion in Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program funding for cities, counties, states, and local community-based organizations in fiscal year ...

Gay News

30th Annual AIDS Run & Walk raises more than $400K
CHICAGO — More than 1,800 advocates, community partners, runners, walkers, volunteers, staff members and more gathered at Soldier Field on Oct. 2 for the 30th annual AIDS Run & Walk Chicago. The event raised approximately $420,000 ...

Gay News

Illinois HIV Care Connect launches HIV Innovation campaign
On Oct. 5, Illinois HIV Care Connect launched its HIV Innovation web and social-media campaign, showcasing several Illinois HIV initiatives that are helping to prevent or treat HIV more effectively. Articles about five initiatives so far ...

Gay News

Pandemic Pivot: Museum launches major digital exhibit for LGBT History Month
"In Plain Sight' offers website visitors a digital timeline of LGBT achievements including 800 entries across 10 categories Visitors to the Stonewall National Museum and Archives (SNMA) in Fort Lauderdale, one of the largest LGBT lending ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Black AIDS Institute, non-binary person attacked, Rachel Maddow
The board of directors of the Black AIDS Institute (BAI) announced the appointments of Toni Newman as its interim chief executive officer and Dr. Kemal M. Atkins as managing director, a press release noted. In addition, ...

Gay News

AIDS Run & Walk celebrates 30 years with annual event
Following a year where AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) held its annual AIDS Run & Walk fundraiser virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event returned to Soldier Field on Oct. 2 with the theme "Forward ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes, Volume 5-SEX!
Title: The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes, Volume 5—SEX! Playwright: David Cerda At: Hell In a Handbag Productions at the Leather Archives and Museum. Tickets: $27-$45. Runs through: It could almost be the premise for ...

Gay News

GLAAD releases 'Local Media Accountability Index - U.S. South'
--From a press release - GLAAD—he world's largest LGBTQ media-advocacy organization—has released its "Local Media Accountability Index - U.S. South," a measurement and evaluation of LGBTQ and HIV coverage in local news outlets across nine ...

Gay News

Proceeds from 30th Annual AIDS Run & Walk Chicago to help 26 HIV/AIDS organizations
--From a press release - CHICAGO — On Saturday, Oct. 2, at 9:30 a.m., more than 1,700 advocates and supporters will gather safely at Soldier Field to participate in the 30th annual AIDS Run & Walk Chicago (ARWC) to support individuals ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Carl Bean dies, LGBT History Month, military events, Dykes on Bikes
Archbishop Carl Bean—an openly gay former Motown singer, longtime AIDS activist and leader in the LGBTQ church movement—died at age 77, The New York Daily News reported. In a statement entitled "The Giant Sleeps," the Unity ...

Gay News

HHS awards $48M to health centers to expand HIV prevention, treatment
On Sept. 16, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded more than $48 million to 271 HRSA-supported health centers across 26 states, Puerto Rico and ...

Gay News

New safety precautions announced for 30th annual AIDS Run & Walk Chicago Oct. 2
--From a press release - CHICAGO — AIDS Foundation Chicago (AFC) has announced proof of full vaccination or negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of event will be required for all in-person participants for the 30th annual AIDS Run & ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.