ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Pride St. Louis will honor the organization's 2018 community service award winners on Saturday night, June 9, at its annual Pride Kick Off Party from 7-9 p.m. at Gallery 1014 Apartments at The Alverne (1014 Locust, 3rd Floor, 63101).

The event is free and open to the public featuring complimentary drinks from Pinnacle Vodka, Cruzan Rum, Sauza Tequila, Fireball, Urban Chestnut Brewing Company, Barefoot Wine, fabulous food from your favorite restaurants, the chance to win great raffle items, and more.

In addition to the award, the community service honorees will be riding in this year's Panera Bread Grand Pride Parade. St. Louis' 39th annual LGBTQIA+ PrideFest will be held June 23-24 downtown at Soldier's Memorial.

Dr. Christopher Lewis

The Felton T. Day Community Service Award is presented to a person – not associated with Pride St. Louis – whose service to the LGBTQIA+ community has gone above and beyond, exemplifying the spirit of leadership and service in one’s community.


Dr. Chris Lewis, a pediatric endocrinologist in St. Louis, is one of the driving forces behind the Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children's Hospital. Working with the division of pediatric endocrinology, he was able to cultivate his passion for transgender health and lay the groundwork for the Center, a first of its kind in the region.

 ChrisLewisThe idea was planted early during his child advocacy rotation when he attended a support group for parents of transgender youth and witnessed the significant health disparities transgender adolescents and adults face.

Lewis has given myriad lectures to promote LGBTQIA+ health equality at leadership and academic institutions as well as at national conferences. In 2017, his work was honored by the Human Rights Campaign with its annual Equality Award.

Lewis obtained his B.S. in microbiology at Texas A&M University and earned his M.D. at University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. He went on to begin a residency in pediatrics at SUNY Stony Brook and completed his residency at Washington University.

"I am honored to be accepting this award on behalf of the Transgender Team whose endeavors have been the foundation the clinic has been able to grow upon," said Lewis. "The clinic has passed the 250 unique patient milestone and this growth highlights the previously unmet need that the St. Louis and surrounding area has lacked in terms of transgender health. We strive to provide gender-affirming care and education to our community and continue to work towards improving transgender health awareness and competency."

Karen Schmale

The Lisa Wagaman Lifetime Community Service Award is presented to an individual who has spent much of their life to further the pride movement and LGBT causes.

Karen Schmale, 60, has been championing the LGBTQIA+ sports movement in St. Louis for over 25 years and is still going strong.

 KarenSchmaleIn 1992, Schmale got involved in the local LGBTQIA+ bowling community by joining the Monday night league at Western Bowl, which later moved to Tropicana. She served as president of the league for 10 years and now volunteers for its Labor Day Weekend Tournament, The Show Me Classic.

Schmale got involved with Team St. Louis around that same time and has served as vice president or secretary for a total of 14 years. She is still an active volunteer for the organization and has represented St. Louis in three Gay Games: New York (1994), Sydney (2002) and Cleveland (2014) where she won gold in her age group for discus.

Schmale was instrumental in reestablishing the LGBTQIA+ Kickball league in Tower Grove Park, now run by Team St. Louis, and has been the coordinator for Sand Volleyball since 2006.

"When I was told I was being honored by Pride St. Louis I have to tell you I cried," said Schmale. "I was very surprised and felt very honored. My response to the person that told me was thank you, but I can think of many other people who deserve this honor."

"I have volunteered or attended fundraisers for many years and will continue to do so as long as I can," Schmale continued. " If you are able to help in some manner whether with time or money I think that is what we were put on this earth to do."

St. Louis Children's Hospital

The Community Proud Award is presented to the individual, group, business, or organization that has gone above and beyond, giving an extraordinary amount of energy making a positive difference in the lives of those in marginalized communities.

The Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital opened on August 1, 2017. A first of its kind in the region, the Center has already seen tremendous growth with patients coming from over 300+ miles away, as far as central Arkansas.

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This highlights the overwhelming need for the type of affirming and supportive care the clinic aims to provide. The goal is to be a center of excellence that provides high-quality, multi-disciplinary, full-spectrum care for every aspect of transgender health from childhood to throughout their adult lives.

Dr. Chris Lewis, a member of the Transgender Team and driving force behind its creation, hopes to continue to raise local and national awareness, contribute to the body of literature for transgender health research and create much needed improvements in medical education as it pertains to all of LGBTQIA related healthcare.

“St. Louis Children’s Hospital is honored to accept the 2018 Community Proud Award from Pride St. Louis," said Joan Magruder, President, St. Louis Children’s Hospital. " As longtime supporters of our LGBTQ+ community, we are excited and pleased to offer specialized care for children, adolescents, and families who are seeking support and gender identity services at the St. Louis Children’s and Washington University Transgender Center. The act of accepting all individuals is part of our culture, along with celebrating and embracing diversity through an inclusive environment. It’s vital to our mission to do what’s right for kids, and it’s the right thing for our community.”

Camp Rising Sun

The Jim Hoefer Award is presented to an organization that best exemplifies what it means to serve St. Louis’ LGBT Community.

Camp Rising Sun is a youth-run camp based out of St. Louis designed to empower Queer and Trans youth in Missouri through community building and skill-based programming.

 CampRisingSunCampers who attend learn how to combat oppression from an intersectional lens in their communities all while healing and learning about themselves and others. This camp was created to provide LGBTQIA+ youth with a place to learn and grow on their own terms.

“We greatly appreciate being chosen to receive the Jim Hoefer Award by Pride St. Louis this year," said Devin Gordon, Member of Camp Rising Sun's Organizing Team. "Being a new start-up organization, to receive this award means quite a great deal to us as organizers."

"We hope that Pride continues to become more community focused and continues to empower more organizations like ours tackling a diverse range of issues," continued Gordon. "Pride has the financial power to become one of the most sustainable resources for our community and we look forward to growing with them as we graduate from their fiscal agency to gain our own sustained independence as an organization.”



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