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Bride in limbo after Val Vista Lakes HOA votes to cancel events

Bride in limbo after Val Vista Lakes HOA votes to cancel events

GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – A bride-to-be is scrambling to re-plan her wedding after she was notified her venue is no longer hosting events starting at the beginning of next year.

“Yesterday, I got a phone call from the general manager of Val Vista Lakes telling me they were canceling all events after January 1st, 2023, and they said it was because of legal reasons,” said Amy Greco. “It’s not actually the HOA company. It’s actually the HOA board members that are voting against having the events there. The only thing that I could think of is that they want to host events there themselves and maybe because Val Vista Lakes is such a popular venue, they’re not able to do so. Which is fine, but I feel they should honor my contract.”

Greco said she wanted the venue so badly that she booked her reservation in August 2021 for her wedding in March 2023.

“Since I moved here in 2006, I wanted to get married there mainly because of the lake and the views there. Because of the docks, it reminded me of my hometown in Long Island,” Greco said. “It was a must for me. That was the first thing that I booked, and then I kind of built the wedding around that.”

Val Vista Lakes said in an email to Greco that she would be returned her $1,000 deposit. However, Greco said she doesn’t know what will happen to her vendors.

“It’s kind of like build your own wedding. So it’s up to me to pick all of my vendors and book them and put it all together,” Greco explained. “I have everything booked. I have my caterers booked, I have the bartender, invitations are sent out, there’s a hotel room block already booked, RSVPs are already coming in. If I were to have to go somewhere else, I don’t know that I can bring my vendors with me, I don’t know if they can refund me the deposits. I don’t know what’s within my budget anymore. It’s all kind of ruined.”

Greco said she wanted Val Vista Lakes as her wedding venue before meeting her future husband. She’s hoping there’s still a way to make it happen.

“The general manager from Val Vista Lakes, or the HOA company, had called me and said that there is a loophole and if I find any resident in Val Vista Lakes that will sponsor me for my event, I’m still able to have it,” Greco said. “But I don’t know anyone that lives in Val Vista Lakes because I’m all the way here in Phoenix.”

Arizona’s Family reached out to the vice president of Val Vista Lakes, but we have not gotten a response.

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Kawartha Lakes Pride Week drag events being met with community support — Lindsay Advocate

Kawartha Lakes Pride Week drag events being met with community support — Lindsay Advocate

Library system seeing increase in request for more reading material that features diverse lifestyles

By Roderick Benns

Family-friendly drag events across Canada, many hosted by local libraries, have been targeted by a deluge of hateful comments, CBC News is reporting – but the same can’t be said locally.

The national broadcaster is reporting that multiple threats during Pride month have occurred, prompting multiple police investigations and renewed concerns about the safety of the LGBTQ community.

But Rylee Rae, an organizer of Kawartha Lakes Pride Week which starts next week said there has been only one comment about keeping drag away from children “and it was challenged with love from our supportive community.”

“We have an amazing team of drag artists, some who work professionally with children as their day gig, who are partnering with Kawartha Lakes Library to host a Drag Queen Story Book time and a cozy reading tent at our Pride in the Park event on July 8,” says Rae.

The drag artists are bringing in a collection of LGBTQIA+ literature to share.

They will also be performing a family friendly version of their acts during the day while another version will be available for adults during the evening.

“We are doing our best to normalize and familiarize folks with drag culture and encourage people to express themselves in new and fun ways,” Ray said.

Marieke Junkin, manager programming and public services for Kawartha Lake Library, said the library has celebrated Pride in our branches “for several years now,” which includes their Storytime programs hosted by various members of Kawartha Lakes Pride.

“The response to these events has been very positive and we have received zero criticism for hosting such programs,” Junkin said.

She says library staff have also noticed an increase in the amount of families and caregivers who are actively requesting material for children that feature positive images and storylines of diverse lifestyles and non-traditional family structures.   

“We have been pleasantly surprised to find these books then go on to circulate well at all 14 of our library branches.” 

The collection of Pride material has been built by a demand from the community as a whole, she says, and not from any particular interest group.