Expo draws hundreds to historic event, Hodge wins trip to Europe

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Several hundred people attended Nashville’s first GLBT Life and Business Expo, sponsored by NAPP’s GLBT Chamber of Commerce and American Home Mortgage, with attendees and organizers both saying it was a great success.

The Expo was held on Saturday Nov. 19 at The Cannery, with the charming renovated event hall filled with more than 50 businesses that sought support from the GLBT community.

Justin Nelson, president and co-founder of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, was at the event and said he was impressed by the energy exhibited by the Nashville GLBT community.

“A true model for the rest of the South to follow,” he said.

Christopher Sanders, president of Nashville’s GLBT Chamber of Commerce, said the event was clearly needed and praised the work of NAPP’s executive vice president John Wade in organizing and leading the committee which helped pull the event together.

“The number of people which flowed through the Expo was truly amazing,” Sanders said. “This was a fantastic event and we appreciate the hard work of John and the committee for pulling this together, and the support of the sponsors. This was a historic first for Nashville’s GLBT community.”

Anita Hodge and her partner Kim Bizub, of Old Hickory, won the European Trip sponsored by Traveling Proud and have elected to go to Amsterdam. It will be Hodge’s first trip out of the Southeast.

Hodge said she visited the booths of all the vendors to “punch” her ticket so she would be eligible for the trip. She was not present when the drawing was made, and was notified by telephone by friends as she and her partner and their eight-year-old-son Tyler were having dinner at Red Restaurant.

“I was shocked,” Hodge said. “Speechless and in denial. I have never won anything like that before.”

She said in celebration they ordered dessert after their meal.

A date has not been set for the trip, but she suspected late summer or spring would fit nicely with their schedule.