With more than 150 supporters, volunteers, charity representatives and VIPs in attendance, Russell Roybal, deputy executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, presented a giant check in the amount of $227,509 to The Miami Foundation’s GLBT Community Projects Fund. The donation represents a significant share of the combined net proceeds from the 2014 Winter Party Festival and the 17th Annual Miami Recognition Dinner, both of which were held in Miami Beach.
These proceeds will be distributed to local LGBT organizations via Foundation grants with the remainder of the proceeds going to support the important work of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force to build power, take action and create positive, lasting change for LGBT people and their families throughout the country.
“The Task Force has been working in Miami since the days of Anita Bryant,” Roybal said. “We have a special and unique relationship with South Florida and the people here. It is thanks to these people – the volunteers, sponsors and guests who attend our two events – that this incredible donation has been possible.”
The donation amount was announced at a July 17 reception at Bacardi USA’s national headquarters in Miami with Charisse Grant, senior vice president for programs, accepting on behalf of The Miami Foundation. Since taking over responsibilities for Winter Party Festival and the Miami Recognition Dinner, the Task Force has contributed more than $1.85 million to South Florida grassroots LGBT organizations.
“We are grateful to the Task Force and hundreds of volunteers and donors who pour their passion into making these events bigger and better every year,” said Grant in accepting the donation. “They do more than give their time and charitable dollars. They give immeasurable inspiration and hope to the thousands of LGBT residents who benefit from the community programs their gifts support.”
Also in attendance at the reception were several representatives from 2013 grant recipient organizations. These leaders represented organizations as diverse as the South Florida LGBT and allied community itself, including the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts; Family Counseling Services of Greater Miami, Inc.; Foster Care Review, Inc.; Miami Beach Gay & Lesbian Film Festival; Pridelines Youth Services; SAVE; Survivor’s Pathway Organization; and Switchboard of Miami.
Immediately after the giant check presentation, Roybal introduced Justin Bell, chair of the 2015 Winter Party Festival and president of Arc+Arrow Creative Group, the company that guided the Task Force through the re-branding process and created the new imagery and verbal identity for the 22-year-old fundraising event.
“As Winter Party Festival continues to grow year-over-year, we find a majority of our events selling out,” Bell said. “That’s a good problem to have. But to continue our growth trajectory, we must expand our audience, enhance our programming and evolve Winter Party Festival to truly take on the meaning of ‘Festival.’”
“The strategy behind the updated brand identity was to capture the celebration of Winter Party Festival and showcase the ever-evolving innovation behind the globally recognized events produced each year,” Bell added. “The new color palette portrays a combination of colors symbolizing the warm Florida sun and cool ocean waves, while incorporating purple from the past palette to remind the community of the brand’s history and provide alignment with the Task Force’s national brand identity.”
At the heart of Winter Party Festival’s new verbal identity is the new positioning statement, Bell said, which states, “Winter Party Festival is an annual fund- and consciousness-raising event committed to supporting, inspiring and activating LGBT communities worldwide through a celebration of identity, equality and unity that is designed to bring the community and its allies together to learn, live, love, laugh and forge lifelong relationships.”
“This positioning statement, coupled with the creation of values, personality attributes, a brand story and promise, and a comprehensive messaging platform, redefines the Winter Party Festival brand and positions the brand for innovative evolution in the years to come,” he concluded.
Coinciding with the updated brand identity unveiling, Bell announced that the new Winter Party Festival website, in partnership with LGBT Creative, has now launched at www.winterparty.com.