Our History

Upon moving to Tucson from Illinois, Jerry C. and Les E. met Ray E.  They became good friends and also became disenchanted with some concepts of
the previous group to which they belonged. After thinking about "retiring," Ray was the motivator who said, "Tucson needs a group for gay men."

At that point the three of them turned to other friends who could represent each decade of age for broader input as a steering committee. Jerry did not want a decision making role, but offered to handle public relations. Les offered to publish a newsletter, and has continued to do so.

The first steering committee consisted of Glenn E. (20's), Les E. (30's), John B. (40's), Ray E. (50's) and Don R. (60's and up). Ray served as the first chairperson. The purpose of the group was to be a social,
not political, organization. An informal structure has been maintained since most did not want to have an overly structured group. The steering committee members choose their own replacements. This prevents the group from being politicized.

It was designed to be an alternative to the bar and so, to avoid legal problems, no alcohol would be served at any MSN events. The committee decided if there were sixty members at the end of the first year, it would be considered to be successful. There were forty-five in attendance at the first potluck in March 1995, held at the Cornerstone Fellowship Church social hall, which we rapidly outgrew. There were 150 at the end of the first year. We now have over 300 members and Don S. serves as our chair. We extend our thanks to all of the members and visitors who have made the organization so successful. Most new members join as a result of word-of-mouth advertising, Wingspan referrals, and The Observer. It has been a special delight to see new people in Tucson find an instant social family through MSN.

(The above was written and edited November 5th, 2002 by Les Elliott)