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FāVS Religion News Roundup: Oct. 5


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FāVS Religion News Roundup: Oct. 5

This week’s roundup shares news about gay men able to donate blood again, a fundraiser to combat the fentanyl crisis and a South Asian classical concert.

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News Story by Tracy Simmons | FāVS News

Gay Men Can Now Donate Blood

This week The Spokesman-Review featured Grant Ogren, director of the Spokane AIDS Network, who was able to donate blood for the first time. 

“A remnant of a 1980s policy amid the AIDS epidemic, gay men have been largely banned from donating blood since 1983 amid fear HIV, the underlying condition that causes AIDS, would find its way into banks’ blood supply. It was not until May this year that the FDA fully lifted the 40-year ban,” the article explained.

Now local blood banks are facing a blood-shortage crisis and are asking for all people — gay and straight — to donate.

There will be a blood drive Oct. 24 at Centennial Hotel (303 W. North River Drive) from 12 to 5 p.m., and Oct. 25 at Saint George’s school (2929 W Waikiki Road) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Raising Money to Combat Fentanyl Crisis

In an effort to raise awareness about the pressing issue of fentanyl and its consequences in the Spokane community the Spokane Alliance for Fentanyl Education (S.A.F.E.) will be hosting the S.A.F.E Fall Festival this weekend.

The event will take place Oct. 7 at the Spokane Pavilion and will feature artists including country music superstar Maren Morris, Spokane-based singer-songwriter Sammy Eubanks and other local musicians.

Attendees can expect an evening filled with family friendly music, yard games and the opportunity to learn about all of Spokane’s resources related to addiction, prevention, treatment, recovery and support.

Tickets are $25. Each ticket holder will receive a $10 food voucher. Tickets are available for purchase at spokanepavilion.com.

Proceeds will go toward funding the foundation’s initiatives, including educational programs and outreach efforts to end the tragic stories in our community.

Upcoming South Indian Classical Concert

Once again this year the South Asia Cultural Association will be bringing a South Indian Classical concert to the area. The five-person performance will be at 6:30 p.m., Oct. 14, at Unity Spiritual Center (2900 S. Bernard St.) in Spokane.

A vegetarian meal will be available for purchase beginning at 5:15 p.m. 

Prior to the concert, at 7 p.m. on Oct. 13, there will be a workshop led by the musicians at Shadle Park Library (2111 W. Wellesley Ave.) where they will demonstrate their percussion and string instruments.

For more information and to reserve seats email [email protected] or call (509) 467-5558.

Tracy Simmons
Tracy Simmons
Tracy Simmons is an award-winning journalist specializing in religion reporting and digital entrepreneurship. In her approximate 20 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti. Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas, Connecticut and Washington. She is the executive director of SpokaneFāVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Washington. She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and national publications. She is a Scholarly Assistant Professor of Journalism at Washington State University.


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