Friends celebrate Anne Barr’s decade of LGBT sports, fundraising

Friends and supporters toasted Anne Barr – the force behind the Decatur Women's Sports League – into retirement recently, closing more than a decade of work creating spaces for lesbians across metro Atlanta to enjoy recreational sports.

Through hard work and sheer force of personality – they don't her "Sarge" for nothing – Barr founded the league to help lesbians and fundraise for LGBT non-profits. On March 11, friends and supporters joined with Barr at the Rush Center for her retirement party. Barr is stepping aside and the league is closing down.

Barr launched the Decatur Women's Sports League in early 2007 with a softball league. The overwhelming response prompted an expansion into bowling, basketball, tennis and more. All along the way, the league raised money for LGBT organizations, including tens of thousands of dollars for the Health Initiative.

Barr has earned scores of accolades and honors during her years supporting and fundraising for LGBT causes. The Health Initiative called her a "Healing Angel," ZAMI honored her community activism and the WNBA's Atlanta Dream named her one of 20 "Women of Inspiration."

In 2016, Atlanta Pride named Barr as one of its 12 grand marshals for the Pride parade.

Barr, center, is seen with state Rep. Karla Drenner and Linda Ellis, executive director of the Health Initiative, at the March 11 event.

Photos by Laura Baccus Studio