By Judith Salkin

Over the past three years Palm Springs-based L-Fund has provided emergency funds to lesbians living in the Coachella Valley to help them through short-term personal financial crises.

Lucy and Gail will receive the Bobreta Franklin Community Service Award.

On Saturday, February 20, L-Fund’s Gumbo Gala Dinner Dance will highlight the outstanding, award-winning seafood and vegetarian gumbos created by Chef Betty Berrysmith, and honor Palm Springs humanitarians and event producers Lucy and Gail (Lucy DeBardelaben and Gail Christian) who will receive the Bobreta Franklin Community Service Award for their work in the Coachella Valley’s lesbian community. This will be followed by entertainer Gennine Jackson, who will perform for the gala’s guests and offer great dance music.

Through its program, L-Fund has assisted lesbians in the Coachella Valley to resolve short-term financial crises, unlike traditional social service or financial aid agencies that deal with long-term assistance.

“Financial crises can happen to anyone. L-Fund’s financial support has helped to prevent homelessness,” says President Barbara J. Carpenter, “L-Fund has also provided support for other emergencies including medication, medical care, food and end-of-life needs. And we need – and want – to do more.”

The L-Fund’s currently established reserve account often allows them to respond to a request within 24 to 48 hours. “This is the only lesbian organization in the valley to provide immediate financial relief in an emergency situation,” says Carpenter. The emotional outpouring from gift recipients creates a sense of community that inspires the Core Group, co-founders and president to do more.

The L-Fund’s Gumbo Gala is their major annual fundraiser. It commemorates co-founder Bobreta Franklin, who died of breast cancer in 2013. An L-Fund core member states that Bobreta Franklin embodied the spirit of giving and was committed to diversity within the organization.

The L-Fund Gumbo Gala Dinner Dance, at The Lodge at the Four Seasons in Palm Springs, begins with a reception at 5 p.m., Saturday, February 20, followed by the gumbo dinner and Bobreta Franklin Community Service Award at 5:30 p.m.  Entertainment by Gennine Jackson and dancing will be from 7:00 p.m to 9:00 p.m.

The Lodge at the Four Seasons, in North Palm Springs, is located at 3800 Four Seasons Boulevard. Tickets are $35 in advance through the L-Fund website at Tickets at the door will be $45, as available.

The L-Fund is a compassionate, philanthropic nonprofit organization started by and for the benefit of the Coachella Valley Lesbian community.  For more information about the L-Fund, its guidelines for giving, or tickets to the fundraiser, visit their website

  • Barbara J. Carpenter

  • Gennine Jackson