Fontainebleau Miami Beach
Saturday, October 24
The National LGBTQ Task Force has raised millions over the past two decades for LGBT service organizations in South Florida and beyond via its annual Miami Recognition Dinner. This year, the dinner is getting a slight rebranding: it is now called the National LGBTQ Task Force Miami Gala, but otherwise it is business as usual. The Sparkle Ballroom at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach (4441 Collins Avenue) is the host venue for the sixth straight year, and Wells Fargo returns as the presenting sponsor. The 19th annual National LGBTQ Task Force Miami Gala will be held this year on Saturday, October 24 beginning at 6:30 p.m.
The National LGBTQ Task Force Miami Gala has made its mark on the South Florida scene in more ways than one. Not only is it one of the most important social engagements on the calendar this autumn, it also makes it mark by returning money back to the community. The Gala raised over $600,000 in 2013 alone, with a majority of these funds donated to The Miami Foundation. Under the GLBT Community Projects banner, over 50 Florida organizations have received over $2.1 million through proceeds raised from this annual event. Money raised at the Gala also benefits SAVE, as well as the Task Force’s five-day National Conference on LGBTQ Equality.
At this event, there will be cocktails and dinner served, people may bid on items in a silent auction (proceeds go to the National LGBTQ Task Force to benefit the organizations and projects previously outlined), there will be a time for people to dance to music as spun by the evening’s DJ, AJ Reddy, who will also spin at the after-party (included in the price of the ticket).
Leslie Jordan, the Emmy Award-winning actor best known for his role as Beverley Leslie in the sitcom Will & Grace, will be this year’s emcee. Not only will he keep things running smoothly, he will also introduce this year’s award recipients. This year’s theme is “honoring heroes, advancing equality,” and each honoree is a hero, helping to advance equality in his or her own way.
The first honoree is Mary L. Bonauto, who will be presented with the National Leadership Award for 2015. Mary is the civil rights project director at the Gay and Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, and she was one of the three lawyers which argued the case Obergefell v. Hodges before the United States Supreme Court earlier this year. This, of course, is the case that made marriage equality the law of the land. She found herself on the plaintiffs’ side in Obergefell v. Hodges after being part of one of the smaller consolidated cases, DeBoer v. Snyder.
Juan Bosco Talavera will be presented with the Eddy McIntyre Community Service Award this year. Having been involved in the local LGBT community and various organizations over the past two decades, Juan has been involved on the boards or committees of a number of groups, such as SAVE, MiFo LGBT Film Festivals, Pridelines Youth Services, the Health Crisis Network, and the People with AIDS Coalition. He is also a co-founder of the OUT Miami Foundation. His work with SAVE brought him from a small-scale volunteer position to chairman of the SAVE Board of Directors. He helped ensure a trans-inclusive human rights ordinance passed in Miami-Dade County, in addition to organizing the SAVE Halloween parties and the Champions of Equality Awards.
Tickets are $450 per person and $4,500 for a ten-person table. To purchase your ticket, please go to the Miami Gala’s website at thetaskforcegala.org and click on “Purchase.” If you’re interested in becoming “table captain” at any of a number of tables at the Gala, you can select from a list of participating organizations while registering and paying for your tickets.
Hotspots Media Group is proud to be a media sponsor of The National LGBTQ Task Force Miami Gala. Diamond and platinum sponsors include Brinker International (including Chili’s and Maggiano’s Little Italy), Menin Hospitality, Merrill Lynch, Alberto Arias & Wood Kinnard, Carnival Foundation, Liebe & Seth Gadinsky, Morgan Stanley, and the Stonewall Community Foundation’s James G. Pepper Fund.
For more information on the National LGBTQ Task Force Miami Gala, visit thetaskforcegala.org. Follow them on social media at @TaskForceGala.