Who We Are

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Our Mission

To encourage and promote the development of services for persons with AIDS and/or HIV infection, additionally, to raise money to provide financial assistance, outreach and education to realized needs within the local gay and lesbian community. To encourage the growth and healthy diversity, creativity and communication within the gay and lesbian community and to honor these accomplishments through grand celebration.

Kasey Ashton and Alicia Brandes CMF38 QueensQueens

Each year the CMF Board selects a Queen and Co-Queen to lead the fundraising efforts for the current year.

This year we are privileged to have two phenomenal leaders for CMF38.

Kasey Ashton, CMF38 Queen​
Alicia Brandes, CMF38 Co-Queen



Each year the CMF Board selects a new group of volunteers to serve CMF for a year, beginning and ending at our Annual Grand Gala. These are the people who put in time, effort, laughter, and tears to make the fundraising possible.

CMF37 Court
  • Daniel Arnold
  • Jessie Brandes
  • Kimberly Watson DeLeon
  • Brandy Duke
  • Michael Hamilton
  • Brittany Hogin
  • Jason Holliday
  • Karla Lineback
  • Laura Parrish
  • Brad Pettyjohn
  • Daniel M. Portee
  • Gary Roundtree
  • Bridget Ryan
  • Ben Stull
  • Cal Thompson
  • Randi Leigh Viohl
  • Tabor Winstead

CMF39 Court Application/Nominee Form

Board of DirectorsCMF37 Board of Directors

  • Dan Woodard, Board President
  • Kurt Hurelbrink, Vice President
  • Carlos O'Neal, Secretary
  • Christina Moore, Treasurer
  • Patrick Lee
  • Fred Livingston
  • Justin Natvig
  • Kyle Overby
  • Steven Norris
  • Patty Van Wyck

Emeritus: Bill Donovan, Andrew Farr, Jaci Field, Arthur Jordan, Chris Smith

History of the Crape Myrtle Festival

Crape Myrtle Festival in 1981

Crape Myrtle Festival (CMF) originated in the summer of 1981 as a small backyard gathering in Wilmington, North Carolina. The party quickly grew in size and moved to Chapel Hill, focusing on the needs of the local gay and lesbian community. In response to the emerging AIDS health crisis, CMF soon began concentrating on raising funds for the HIV/AIDS service agencies located in the Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill area.

The small party evolved into a yearly festival, increasing the donations given by individuals and corporations supporting its goal, and culminating in a Grand Gala celebrated in the last weekend of July. By the early 1990s, special events such as educational seminars, sports tournaments, and musical concerts preceded the Gala, resulting in a week of CMF activities.

In 1992 a group of dedicated individuals initiated the process of incorporating CMF as a recognized North Carolina non-profit organization. By law, these individuals became responsible for setting policies and drafting necessary documents. CMF received state recognition as an official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in May 1993.

As the 1990s passed and the new millennium began, CMF continued to fine-tune its mission statement and broaden its focus to additional health needs found within the gay, lesbian, and transgender communities. For over two decades, it has heightened positive awareness and promoted fellowship in these communities located within the Triangle area. As we stay focused on our goals, CMF will continue to expand and identify new areas in which fundraising efforts make an impact on the community.

Invitations from Past Festivals