Mitch Gill, also known as DeShannon Chrisie Jewel, was born on December 15, 1952 and passed away on January 9, 2013.
Mitch Gill helped many individuals, groups and causes. He touched so many lives in so many ways. He consistently inspired people to get involved, to try something new, or to support a special cause, group or event. His quick wit was surpassed only by his friendly smile, open heart and willingness to help out.
Mitch was heavily involved in Gay Rodeo and the Imperial Court. He held many titles in both organizations AND served as a role model for hundreds.
A few of Mitch's accomplishments include:
It is estimated that Mitch and DeShannon were responsible for raising between $750,000 and $1,000,000 for charities during his lifetime.
"DANCE, DANCE, DANCE" was one of DeShannon's favorite songs. She used it for her IGRA competition number in 1998 where she incorporated clogging and three costume changes in less than 5 minutes!
Mitch will long be remembered by so many who knew and loved him.
Honorary Grand Marshall
RON ALDRIDGE, Ph.D., LCSW
Doctor Ronald G. Aldridge recently retired as the Chief Executive Officer of Health Services of North Texas (HSNT), an agency committed to making a difference in the quality of life for all North Texans through medical care, support services and advocacy. He currently serves on the Health Services of North Texas Foundation that exists to support HSNT.
He has served as a Consultant and expert in nonprofit mergers and acquisitions, administration and management, fund raising, agency health and welfare and HIV/AIDS.
In Dallas, he served in many positions such as President of the Board of Directors of the Dallas Area Parkinsonism Society, and President of the Dallas Market Center Rotary Club. In 1997, he was honored by the Dallas Unit of the National Association of Social Workers as "Social Worker of the Year".
In Denton, he is Past President of many organizations, some of which include the Denton Noon Rotary Club, Past Assistant Governor for Rotary District 5790, Past-President of the Board of Directors of the Cross Timbers Girl Scout Council, and President of the Leadership Denton Advisory Committee. In 2002, he received the Public Health Advocate of the Year Award from the Denton County Health Department and was elected Social Worker of the Year for 2004 by the Denton County Unit of the National Association of Social Workers and then 2004 Social Worker of the Year for the State of Texas. He was also Chair of the Board of Trustees at Argyle United Methodist Church and Chair of their Staff Parish Relations Committee.
Michael Doughman has a long history of community involvement and support of which the following is only an abbreviated version.
He's been active in the LGBT community since the early 1980s, with the Turtle Creek Chorale and Metropolitan Community Church. He put together many events to raise money for a capital campaign for MCC to build Cathedral of Hope, which has become the largest LGBT church in the world. Al so as his alter ego Michael Lee, he raised money to Turtle Creek Chorale during this time.
During the 1990s, he served on the board of Razzle Dazzle Dallas, the annual June Pride party that was the city's largest fundraiser for AIDS organizations at the time.
Michael has been a part of the rodeo circuit it in his own right. He has been the announcer to several rodeos, including the Finals rodeo in Mesquite, Texas.
In his current position with the Dallas Tavern Guild, he now stages the annual Alan Ross Texas Freedom Pride parade and Voice of Pride contest.
He spearheads the annual Holiday Gift Basket project to raise funds for local AIDS housing organization, at Parkland Hospital and other AIDS organizations.
His latest project is refurbishing the local AIDS memorial in Lee Park in the Oak Lawn area of Dallas. When an area of the park that housed the memorial was recently renovated, Michael found a new site within the park to plant a new tree, move the memorial plaque and arrange for care for the site.