Live Gala events have been canceled for nearly a year.  The past year of social distancing has turned many of us into Zoom-zombies, staring at screens, and trying to get excited about local causes.

That’s why the local HIV/STD non-profit, Latinos Salud, will break through the virtual wall with its Gala event on Saturday evening February 27th, turning the camera around to share all the fun from safe watch parties taking place all over the region.

This year’s annual Gala will be fast-paced, emceed by NBC 6’s Stephen MacLaughlin, and featuring powerful, live performances by both rising star Eli Zamora of The Voice, and also Johnny Manuel of America’s Got Talent and The Voice.

Eli Zamora

“Both artists have agreed to perform songs especially suited to the moment, as we are all impacted by the COVID-19 crisis” said Latinos Salud’s Executive Director, Stephen Fallon.  “Eli is adapting a classic song, which he’s modifying to have lyrics in both English and Spanish.  Johnny Manuel performance ties right into the meaning behind our special announcement.  I can’t reveal more yet, but I will say that both of these amazing performers will give you chills.”

Tickets for the February 27th Gala event are available in three tiers.

While supplies last, pre-registered Premier or VIP guests who reserve their ticket by donating will receive a special “Benefit in a Box” before the event.  Each box will contain fun swag items, sweets, important wellness information, and a recipe to go along with bottle(s) of Tito’s Handmade Vodka generously contributed by our sponsor, Tito’s.

Guests are invited to enjoy the “Benefit in a Box” items before and during the Gala event.  Those who coordinate “Safe Watch Parties” may be invited to join the broadcast, strut your stuff, share your perspective, or just make some noise for all of your friends to watch and enjoy.

VIP and Premiere guests will also gain early access to the silent auction items donated by local businesses.

Latinos Salud is also offering free viewing-only tickets to pre-registered guests.  All tickets can be reserved at

“We also have some inspiring and eye-opening videos and testimonials to share during the event,” said Latinos Salud co-founder, Rafaelé Narváez.

Like all galas, this one is also a fundraiser.   “We stayed safely open for walk-in services through the entire COVID-19 crisis, serving a record number of community members,” said Fallon.  “Even during COVID, we also added new, free services, such as our free PrEP clinic.  All of this increase our expenses by 37% this year.”

Guests are invited to buy silent auction items, or make a direct contribution, through the agency’s Florida AIDS Walk page.  Donations through the Walk will be matched by AHF, to benefit Latinos Salud’s free services.

The Gala event sponsors include

AIDS Healthcare Foundation

Avita Pharmacy

Gilead Sciences

Janssen Scientific Affairs

Tito’s Handmade Vodka

The Campbell Foundation

Community members with questions about the Gala can call (954) 765-6239 or stop by any Latinos Salud location, or write to