Students volunteer at Dining at the Mansions 2017.

When Karan Chavis, chief of staff for UofL’s School of Medicine, decided to open her home in 2017 for Dining at the Mansions, she knew she was not only offering attendees a chance to view a historic landmark but also significantly impacting UofL’s LGBT community.

“It breaks my heart that kids lose their homes for expressing their identity,” said Chavis, a host of Dining at the Mansions for the second year. “We have to make sure everyone feels like they have a home and somewhere they belong.”

Dining at the Mansions is a fundraiser benefiting UofL’s LGBT Center that offers a night of fine dining in one of six Old Louisville mansions. The night includes a reception and a full-course, gourmet meal.

“Dining at the Mansions is such a fun event and a chance to have an elegant meal in Louisville’s most beautiful mansions, but it’s so much more than that,” said Brian Buford, assistant provost for diversity and executive director of the LGBT Center. “To me, it’s our community coming together to wrap its arms around LGBT young people and make sure that they have the support and resources they need to be successful. It’s everything I love about our compassionate city.”

This year’s event is Saturday, April 14. The reception starts at 6 p.m. at the 1888 Historic Rocking Horse Manor Bed & Breakfast. Attendees can choose which mansion to dine at by reserving a seat online. Each mansion has different chefs and a different menu.

Reservations for the event are free, however attendees are encouraged to donate a minimum of $100 dollars per plate.

The hosts will have a friendly competition to see who can raise the most money. Last year, they raised over $18,000 collectively.

“I think for our students to see the surrounding community doing this for them is a tremendous feeling,” Buford said. “It’s what many LGBT youth missed growing up — the sense that they belong somewhere and that they are cherished for who they are. Old Louisville and these generous homeowners are having an impact that reinforces our vision for inclusion here on campus.”

Local sponsors for the event include Proof on Main, Jack Fry’s and Butchertown Grocery.

More information about Dining at the Mansions is available online