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Everyone in the Tampa Bay community is invited to Equality Florida’s annual Tampa Gala, presented by PNC Bank. It will be held on Saturday, February 21 at 7:30 p.m., and the venue for the gala will be TPepin’s Hospitality Centre (4121 N. 50th Street) for the third year in a row.

The Tampa Gala is one of Equality Florida’s biggest fundraisers of the year, and TPepin’s Hospitality Centre, beautiful and luxurious, offers a spacious floor plan, meaning hundreds upon hundreds of Equality Florida supporters can celebrate our successes and support the venerable organization, celebrating 20 years this year.

At the Gala, there will be cocktails and hors d’oeuvres catered and served by Puff ‘n Stuff, open bars, live entertainment from Paul Wilborn and Blue Roses, live and silent auctions, and a program that will underscore just how far Florida has come in the past year with regard to LGBT rights, and how far we still have left to go. A “State of the State” Address will be given by Equality Florida’s Chief Executive Officer, Nadine Smith, to commemorate the occasion. The event will be hosted by Miguel Fuller, from the “Miguel and Holly Show” on Hot 101.5.

This year’s Voice for Equality honoree at the Tampa Gala is John Tonnison, Executive Vice President, Cloud Computing, and Chief Information Officer at the Tech Data Corporation. He is a member of the Equality Means Business board, has supported the Tampa Gala since 2013, and even ventured to Tallahassee to speak to lawmakers about a statewide non-discrimination bill. Ariel Zavala will also be honored as a Voice for Equality honoree, for her work establishing a gay-straight alliance at Alonso High School.

In addition, a special “Charlie Hounchell Spirit of Service and Leadership Award” will be presented to Scott Moore, who has been an active Equality Florida volunteer for many years. He has been on the steering committees for many past Tampa Galas, serving in many roles, all the way up to event chair.

Tickets are on sale right now and cost $125 per person. Please RSVP by calling (813) 870-3735 or go to eqfl.org/tampagala. Sponsorship opportunities exist and start at $500; for more information, contact Mark Puskarich at mark@eqfl.org.

Hotspots Media Group, including Hotspots Central, is proud to be a sponsor of the Equality Florida Tampa Gala. For more information about Equality Florida, visit eqfl.org.