WHO WE ARE
AND WHAT WE STRIVE TO DO
Francesco’s Foundation aims to provide financial support for established & grass-root charities to combat the effects of cyber and non-cyber bullying on the mental health of teenagers, particularly relating to the LGBTQ community.
We aim to provide monetary support to charities working to protect the sanctity of life for minors with relations to the safe storage of guns in their family homes, particularly sports guns that are only intended for sports and not for self-defense.
Francesco’s foundation will also provide finance for charities seeking to educate and inform parents and teachers on parental controls. We will pave ways to gain access to your child’s devices so minors are not inadvertently harming themselves by establishing relationships with older adults or inappropriate friends that may persuade them to be involved in acts of a criminal nature or to harm themselves.
Co-Founder, Francesco’s mother
Francesco was not just my child, he was like a wise old friend and the most wonderful companion. He was a shining light in my life, and despite the mere 17 years we had together, it feels more like a century with everything we packed into his short life.
His passing has left a massive void, and I feel it’s my responsibility to do all I can to help other children and young adults to avoid the same fate that befell my precious son.
As a gay woman, I have also grown up with discrimination, and life has not been without its many challenges. Decades before Francesco died, I remember when I was 17 at a girl’s boarding school in Dorset, England, being the butt of jokes and ridicule after I had been seen kissing another girl. I felt other girls staring and laughing at me everywhere I walked through the school grounds. I was so confused that I ran away from school, hitchhiking 60 miles back home, swallowing all the pills I could get my hands on, and drinking as much alcohol as possible from my parent’s drinks cabinet. Fortunately for me, they were only headache pills, and no gun was lying around. If the pills had been tranquilizers or had a gun available, I am sure I would have lost my life. I was not suicidal, and neither was Francesco. It was an impulsive moment of madness, and that is all it takes in the teenage brain to make a devastatingly bad decision.
I went on to become a photographer for Vogue and Tatler and then worked as an interior designer on many exciting projects like the Royal Palace in Malaysia and various luxury hotels in Europe. My older son now works in finance in NYC and is married with two young children.
Fortunately, attitudes have completely changed in the UK, and firearms could never be accessible to minors. It is almost mainstream in the US for LGBTQ teenagers to be bullied at school, and guns are more available than ever, despite the huge rise in teenage gun suicides.
Over twenty years after my experience at school, my older son wrote his Princeton essay on how he overcame his feelings of being ostracized by his friends. He was so frightened that they would find out he had a gay mother. As it turned out, his feelings were all in his imagination, but he got into Princeton!
Eighteen years later, Francesco killed himself with a shotgun at 17, having also consumed huge amounts of alcohol after being tormented and ridiculed about his sexual orientation at school that day. This shouldn’t still be happening, and I know it is my responsibility and now my purpose in life to help raise money for charities that are combatting these issues that could lead to teenage suicide.
Co-Founder, Diana’s partner.
I met Francesco three years ago at the age of 15 & we Aquarians instantly bonded through our mutual love of music & technology. He was so kind, accepting & welcoming of me into his ever-extending family; he made our lives an easier & happier place. I will now make sure I do everything I can to help his mother & family honors him & his memory.
I will be responsible for our activities’ strategic vision, oversight, and operational management. This includes policy, campaigning and fundraising, community engagement, oversight of our workplace, and empowerment programs, along with our programs for the distribution of funds to help & support mental health & young people.
Before joining Francesco’s Foundation, I had a long history of working in the Entertainment & Media sectors. I am an Entertainment lawyer by background, and in particular, I specialize in organizing & developing new businesses & for people who created innovative technologies.
I have had a number of career highlights, both big and small. Most recently, a highlight was in my last but one role at Mineral & Financial Investments Ltd, a London Stock Exchange AIM listed company trading under the ticker symbol MAFL. Whereas Executive Chairman, I was responsible for a complete corporate rebrand, restructure & investment strategy.
My previous working roles have been both legal & organizational with companies such as Northern & Shell, Polygram records, London Records, Command technology plc & YooMedia plc.
Kevin is a native of Michigan but for the last ten years has called Aspen home. Kevin is the Executive Director and only employee of AspenOUT, the non-profit that produces its annual fundraiser. Aspen Gay Ski Week is the original and largest gay ski week in the world. In January 2023 AGSW will be celebrating its 46th anniversary. Like HamptonsOUT, all of the money raised by their fundraisers will go back to the LGBTQ community via grants, programs and scholarships. Kevin is thrilled to be able to help HamptonsOUT get off the ground with their fundraising and grant distribution. oPrevious to his non-profit career Kevin enjoyed a long career as a self employed interior designer. Kevin is Dad to Sophia and Efrain and dog Dad to Mickey.
Gregg Kaminsky began his career as a travel entrepreneur more than 25 years ago, creating specialty vacations all over the world. Formerly the Vice President of Atlantis Events, the world’s largest gay tour operator, he co-founded R Family Vacations in 2003, helping create the first company to offer customized vacations for LGBTQ families and friends. R Family Vacations was featured on HBO’s “All Aboard!” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, won a GLAAD award, and was nominated for an Emmy Award.
More than 20,000 guests have traveled with R Family, which now also offers adult-only vacations. R Family Vacations has partnered with Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, and together they host full-ship LGBTQ sailings. RFV also hosts group tours including Thailand, Ireland and Israel as well as large groups on RCCL and Celebrity Cruises.
R Family Vacations recently rebranded as “KelliGregg Travel” as the company offers so many additional vacations in addition to family travel. The company will continue to host their LGBTQ family vacation each summer.
He has served as a travel consultant for Nickelodeon and produced multiple full-ship charters on Royal Caribbean’s biggest ships featuring SpongeBob, Dora, Slime and Nick’s live action stars.
Kaminsky was named as part of the “OUT 100”, an annual list of the most influential members of the LGBTQ community. He also received the Hall of Fame award from IGLTA. He graduated from the University of Texas and earned his MBA from the University of Southern California. He splits his time between NY and Aspen with his husband Dan and Jack Russell terrier “Wellington”. They were featured on the Bravo television series “Gay Weddings”. He loves traveling so much if he’s not at an airport every couple of weeks he begins to shake from withdrawal.
Melissa Temple brings a certain persuasion to real estate that can be summed up in one phrase: Live life fully and have a great time doing it – and make friends along the way. A top producing real estate advisor in the Aspen Valley, Melissa’s success has been primarily due to this attitude, bringing not only expertise but great fun to real estate. Focusing on providing the lifestyle her clients are seeking, Melissa is known for making them instant locals, inviting each client to partake in the culture and beauty in and around Aspen. Market-savvy, dedicated, innovative, honest, fiercely loyal, and with wicked–smart instincts, Melissa fashions real estate experiences that have her clients coming back for more.
Prior to diving feet-first into Aspen’s luxury real estate market, Melissa’s colorful career consisted of being a radio announcer in France, a record company executive in Australia – one of its first female directors, and General Manager of Aspen’s premier health resort, The Aspen Club. After becoming a full-time Broker in 2010, and at a time when the real estate industry was grappling with the effects brought on by the Great Recession of 2008, Melissa sold an impressive 10 million in real estate. Her clients are grateful she’s around, nominating her time and again for the best realtor award in the Valley. Melissa prioritizes giving back to her community, both in real estate and in service to local organizations. She is the President of Aspen Out and incoming President of the Aspen Board of Realtors for 2023. Extremely personal, confidential and discreet, Melissa will meet every need in your real estate experience, and you will certainly enjoy a heightened level of fun while doing it. The results will exceed your expectations and you will start using the words ‘fun’ and ‘real estate’ in the same sentence.
3 PILLARS OF FRANCESCO’S FOUNDATION
The Francesco Foundation will aim to take on three pillars of reform and education with the intersectionality of mental health tying into each pillar.
Our mission to battle ignorance, prejudice, and fear will be at the forefront of the foundation’s activities.