Honoring Michael Donald Edwards and Lifetime Achievement Honoree Mary Bonauto
Palm Avenue Parking Garage, Sarasota
Saturday, November 21

Enjoy a night under the stars with Equality Florida at the annual Suncoast Celebration, presented by PNC Bank, which will be held on Saturday, November 21 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., EQFL-Suncoast_Adon top of the Palm Avenue Parking Garage, located at 1262 N. Palm Avenue in Sarasota.

Attendees will enjoy musical entertainment, hors d’oeuvres, open bars, and a program that includes a “State of the State” address by Equality Florida co-founder and Deputy Director Stratton Pollitzer. Stratton will tell attendees about this momentous year, which included marriage equality in Florida and the advancement of the Florida Competitive Workforce Act, as well as how far we still have to go in our quest for equality.

The two highlights of this year’s event will be the presentations of the Voice for Equality Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award. The Voice EQFL-Suncoast_MichaelEdwardsfor Equality Award will be given to Michael Donald Edwards, the Producing Artistic Director at Asolo Repertory Theatre. He has championed outreach between the theatre and LGBT non-profits, and the theatre’s American Character Project has specifically selected productions that relate to the LGBT experience. He has also created OUT@AsoloRep, which is a unique project that allows the LGBT community to enjoy theatre productions with their straight friends in a vibrant social setting.

The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Mary Bonauto, a civil rights attorney who has been referred to as “our Thurgood Marshall” by former Congressman Barney Frank. For decades, she has worked to ensure that discrimination against EQFL-Suncoast_MaryBonautothe LGBT community will soon be a thing of the past. She was on the legal team that brought marriage equality to Massachusetts in 2004, and she was also on the team that brought marriage equality nationwide this year. For her tireless work, which has impacted the state of LGBT rights today, Mary Bonauto will be receiving the special 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Tickets cost $125 if purchased in advance and $150 if bought at the door. 100% of proceeds go straight to Equality Florida and the important work the organization does to further equality across the state. No physical tickets will be issued; a list of names will be checked at the door. Cocktail attire is requested of all attendees. If you’d like to attend a special dinner at Tableseide after the Suncoast Celebration, visit to reserve your table.

For more information, call (407) 376-4801 or visit