The Annual Dolphin Democrats’ Awards Reception is the premier event that recognizes outstanding leaders who have demonstrated the strength to lead and a vision to improve the lives of those in the LGBT community and all deserving citizens. Honoring those special members of our community celebrates our accomplishments and strengthens our hopes for the future. This year’s ceremony takes place on Saturday, October 24th at The International Fishing Hall of Fame and celebrates Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a portion of the proceeds being donated to the Susan G. Komen Fund.
The event is being held at the magnificent International Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum. The exhibits will be open all evening for their guests who have not experienced the museum.
They say that variety is the spice of life so the organizers have recruited 15 restaurants to provide almost every food imaginable to enhance your culinary experience. Go and taste some of the best things you will ever put in your mouth.
Individual tickets are $75 with VIP reception tickets $150. The VIP reception is from 6:30 to 8 pm; the cocktail reception is from 7 to 8 pm and the dining and awards presentation is from 8 to 11 pm. There will also be a silent auction throughout the evening featuring incredible items including an electric bike, spectacular art, gift certificates and much more. At press time sponsors for this event are Sidelines Sports Bar, Wine Warehouse, New Moon, Divino Wines and Spirits, Casa D’ Angelo, Café Seville, Lola’s on Harrison, Salad Creations, Rosie’s, J. Mark’s, Pier 66/360 Degree Catering, Snax/Fat Cat Catering, Jimmie’s Chocolates, Croissant Time, House of Hope, Java Boys, Jets Pizza, Primavera Pizza, In Chef We Trust, and Hotspots Magazine. For more information go to DolphinDems.org.
Highlights of some of the Honoree’s:
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz will be honored with the Jamie Bloodworth Award. As the first Jewish congresswoman ever elected from Florida, Representative Wasserman Schultz has dedicated her public life to working on behalf of the people of Florida and she has long been a friend of the LGBT community and a force for equality. Representative Wasserman Schultz continues to push for greater awareness of breast cancer risks in younger women when she shares her powerful personal story as a breast cancer survivor.
Gary Resnick is the mayor of Wilton Manors. Prior to being elected mayor in November 2008, Gary served on the Wilton Manors City Commission for ten years. In addition, Mayor Resnick serves as the President of the Broward League of Cities, which represents all municipalities in Broward County. In August 2009, Mayor Resnick was selected to serve on the Executive Committee of the Florida League of Cities, which represents municipalities throughout Florida. He was also elected by his fellow Mayors to the Board of Directors of the Florida League of Mayors. In his professional life, Gary Resnick is a shareholder in the law firm GrayRobinson, PA. Gary and his partner, Eric, live in Wilton Manors with their two rescued golden retrievers.
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings represents Florida’s 23rd Congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives. Since his election to Congress as the first African-American from Florida since the post-Civil War period, Congressman Hastings has been an outspoken advocate for minorities, women, the elderly, children, and immigrants. He takes great pride in his 100 percent pro-equality voting record and is a co-sponsor of virtually every piece of legislation in the 111th Congress that extends critical rights and protections to the LGBT community. Congressman Hastings’ most recent efforts include a multilateral push to repeal the discriminatory law known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” as well as support for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, non-discrimination protection for LGBT employees, and hate crimes prevention legislation.
Richard F. Wierzbicki was appointed Wilton Manors’ Police Chief in February 1999 until his retirement in 2005. Chief Wierzbicki was the recipient of the 2004 Sun Serve Community Awareness Government Award and was honored by the 2004 Broward County Commission via Proclamation for progressive leadership in law enforcement. Chief Wierzbicki also sits on the Broward County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Advisory Board where he serves as Treasurer. In February 2006, he was elected Vice President of the Broward County Crime Commission and continues to hold that position. In May 2007, Chief Wierzbicki resumed his law enforcement career when he joined the Broward County Sheriff’s Department and was appointed to the position of Commander in the Department of Law Enforcement. In September 2008, Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti named Commander Wierzbicki to head the newly formed Sheriff’s Office Hate Crimes/Anti Bias Task Force.
In 1994, Charles Perez left the producing ranks to go in front of the camera in his own nationally syndicated daytime television talk show. The Charles Perez Show ran from fall ’94 through spring ’96, focusing on social issues relevant to young America including teenage pregnancy, guns in school and affirmative action. From the world of talk TV, Charles transitioned to a more traditional news format, co-anchoring the syndicated TV news magazine show, “American Journal,” with his sister, Michele Dabney-Perez. Following “American Journal,” Charles fully immersed himself in the world of local news, working as a reporter at Los Angeles’ KCAL Channel 9 before making the move back to South Florida. Charles came back to South Florida in August 2000, after ten years in the television business that included producing and reporting in local news and in syndicated television. Before moving to New York, Charles spent four years at South Florida’s WSVN where he also anchored the weekends while reporting on such South Florida stories as Election 2000 and the South Florida terrorist trail in the days and weeks following 9/11.
The other honorees are Pompano Bill, Steve Rothaus, William Vayens, the Stonewall Library, Women in Distress, Eagle Campaign (Ending Abuse of Gays & Lesbians Everywhere), Linda Jain, The Hershey Group (Drew Hershey), New Moon (Carol Moran) and Barbara Stuart.