• Thu. Nov 24th, 2022

The Colorado Springs Church will serve as Club Q’s Thanksgiving location after filming

ByKarla E. Kowalski

Nov 24, 2022

The appeal went out and the donations poured in. That was the reaction in Colorado Springs when it quickly became clear this week that Club Q would not be having Thanksgiving.

In the past, the club served as a home for people who were either separated from or ostracized by their families during the holidays. “This community becomes your family. So it’s not unexpected that they’d be at a bar like Club Q on a holiday, Christmas or Thanksgiving,” said Jason Plata, music director of the non-denominational Pikes Peak Metropolitan Church.

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CBS


Club Q was the scene of a dinner hosted by the United Court of the Pikes Peak Empire, an LGBTQ+ community outreach group. “You can say it’s not a home, but it’s a home for others,” Plata said. “And that’s why it’s so tragic, because places like this become our homes. Because it was our only outlet to experience our freedom and our freedom to be who we can be without any kind of malice.”

But with the club closed following Sunday’s deadly shooting, there was no room for the annual dinner. The organization asked the church. “We celebrate the community as a whole and that it is still strong and will thrive,” said Joseph Shelton of the United Court of the Pikes Peak Empire.

“Our goal is simply to show the love of God. Our whole heart is healing,” said Plata, who was blamed by the church for the dinner. He called for food donations from local restaurants, and they responded quickly. “I told everyone I’m not Jesus, I don’t have two fish and three loaves of bread and it basically came out of nowhere.”

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“Salads, bread, turkey, ham,” described Albert Dominguez, manager of Parvicini’s Italian Bistro. “I think food and emotional support go hand in hand,” he explained.

The restaurant was one of a long list in Colorado Springs that was growing. “We are all one. We all breathe the same air and we are all there for each other,” Dominguez said. “No matter what your sexuality is, no matter what your religion is, no matter what your politics is, you are a person and you are more important to us than anything else.”

Usually, the group sharing Thanksgiving at Club Q isn’t large, Shelton said, but he expects 150-175 people at church on Thursday. Plata thinks he has enough for over 200. “We just open it up to anyone who feels like they want to come and be a part of it.”

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CBS


Counselors will be present for people who need to talk. “What we intend to do is help our community heal. And that’s all I said is help us heal and then we can move on,” Plata said. Together, people gather to give thanks for each other and their home. “You can’t forget what happened this weekend, but it’s okay to laugh and it’s okay to have a good time and we want them to breathe a little sigh of relief.”

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