October 2011 Centaur All-Star: Br. Allen Cole

November 14, 2011

Brother Allen Cole was nominated by Br. Lou Camera.  The information that he provided is below:

Thanks for the opportunity to nominate one of Iota’s founding brothers who still embodies what it means to make a difference and make our presence known.

I would like to nominate brother Allen Cole (#1).  He is a proud alumnus (#2) of our now closed chapter, but never hesitates to talk about Iota and our National organization.  In 1992, Allen came to me as Student Activities Director to ask about starting a GLBT film festival at Sac State.  As you can imagine I tried to be helpful, but Allen was a dynamo and kept all of us on our toes.  Within 6 months DLP and our campus GLBT organization (GLASS) had a sell out audience at the historic Crest Theatre downtown filling 976 seats and turning away over 400 people.  He served as President of SIGLFF for the first three years and on the Board for another 9 years.  He stepped down from the Board, but never away from the organization through out our 20 years.

This past weekend SIGLFF celebrated our 20th year and Allen was acknowledged and had a chance to speak before the show.  At each occasion he talked about DLP and dedication of the members in their support – even to this day.  At the closing show, Allen asked all DLP members to stand and be acknowledged by the audience of almost 700.  Many alumni had come to this show especially (as shorts night is particularly popular)  It was wonderful to see so many brothers in attendance and still supporting the festival.  (Five members of the Alpha class were there alone)  One of the current volunteers introduced himself – Scott Boezen – an inductee from one of the last chapters to Iota before it closed.  I was wonderful to introduce Scott to Allen and listen to them explore how to bring all Iota together for some type of ‘reunion’.  I was further surprised to hear from a Xi Chapter member also in attendance that their chapter is trying to restart Iota.  Plans will be discussed this upcoming weekend at WRC.

Under separate cover I will be sending you a 2 page article from The Sacramento Bee about the festival which talked at length to Allen as Founder.  (Would try attaching in this but afraid that exiting this to get link will delete all of this).

For 20 years, DLP and Iota are acknowledged for being the primary force behind SIGLFF, contributing 3 of the 7 presidents and many volunteers.  SIGLFF is now a stand-alone 501 c3 non-profit which has contribute $40,900 to local charities, including monies from reserves when the festival was not financially successful.

The mission of SIGLFF – from the very start – was to present GLBT films/video to raise awareness about GLBT peoples and issues as well as to show the diversity of our community as a way to further acceptance and tolerance in our local area.  To this day, Allen’s vision is being felt in the Sacramento Region.  [He also refuses free tickets and prefers to buy our costliest package as a way to continue his financial support]

I appreciate the opportunity to nominate my brother and leader within the Sacramento community for consideration for the Centaur Award.

For more information on SIGLFF, check out this article in the Sacramento Bee.