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.

Justin Natvig and Kasey AshtonQueens

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 CMF37.

Justin Natvig, CMF37 Queen​
Kasey Ashton, CMF37 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
  • Benjamin Blackmon
  • Jessie Brandes
  • Alicia Brandes
  • Thomas Chancey
  • Kenny Coates
  • Randi Leigh Eattock
  • Dillan Gay
  • Jason Holliday
  • MaRanda Kiser
  • Freddie Livingston
  • Jonathan McKee
  • Daniel Portee
  • Brandon Pressley
  • Bryan Rawls
  • Spencer Rivers
  • Brian Senter
  • Dave Severence
  • Benjamin Stull
  • Cal Thompson
  • Tabor Winstead

CMF38 Court Application/Nominee Form

Board of DirectorsCMF37 Board of Directors

  • Dan Woodard, Board President
  • Steven Norris, Vice President
  • Christina Moore, Treasurer
  • Andrew Farr, Secretary
  • Kurt Hurelbrink
  • Patrick Lee
  • Kyle Overby
  • Patty Van Wyck

Emeritus: Bill Donovan, Jaci Field, Arthur Jordan, Chris Smith, Carlos O'Neal

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