This OUTDOOR event will create a safe space for celebration, with participants choosing either of the two dates to attend.
Just as the non-profit LGBT health agency, Latinos Salud, was preparing to announce its return to an annual, indoor Gala fundraising event, the omicron variant of COVID-19 swept the U.S.
“Latinos Salud’s entire mission is community health,” said Executive Director, Dr. Stephen Fallon. “We had to re-design the whole event so that those two words – community and health– wouldn’t be in conflict.”
Fallon added, “The past two years have shown us that we’re all connected as a community, even when those connections aren’t visible. COVID-19’s invisible contagion forced community members to move apart for safety at the very time when so many people want to re-connect and support one another. Our Gala al Fresco will allow community members to feel safe even as they come back together.”
Co-founder Rafaelé Narváez, the agency’s Director of Health Programs, added, “A seated dinner at a table in the round indoors would put us all face to face, raising COVID risks. Until the massive wave of COVID-19 omicron passes, we had to re-boot our Gala. We’ll have all of the excitement, along with a healthy breeze circulating under the tents.”
Latinos Salud’s “Gala al Fresco” will be offered twice, with the goal of spreading participants out over two different event dates. When guests register, they will pick their date, choosing to attend either the Saturday evening cocktail party on February 19th or the Sunday brunch on February 20th.
Both events will be staged outdoors on the large lawn at Latinos Salud’s Wilton Manors location, under tents with good ventilation. Guests are encouraged to wear masks when not actively eating or drinking. Passed hors d’oeuvres will give each guest the freedom to eat wherever they feel safest. With seven courses, it will add up to a Gala-sized meal.
Entertainment will include the inspiring vocal talents of Jimmie Herrod, and the feel-good funk of the retro soul band, Soul Scratch. Herrod, a 2021 America’s Got Talent finalist and winner of the golden buzzer, will sing live. The six-piece band, Soul Scratch, will send a video postcard, recorded live especially for the Gala’s guests, with funky horns and front man Dale Spollet’s powerhouse vocals.
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Community members are advised to get tickets early, as each day’s count of attendees is capped for safety. Tickets are $150 for regular tickets, and $200 for VIP tickets, until February 11th, when prices will rise to “door rush” levels, $175 for regular and $225 for VIP tickets.
VIPs will enjoy a meet and greet photo opportunity with Jimmie Herrod and will receive an upgraded “Benefit in a Box” before the event, delivered to their home or office.
“Whether you come dressed to impress for the Saturday night cocktail lawn party, or don bow ties or bright colors for the Sunday brunch, everyone can expect to enjoy food, open bar, live music, videos, and a silent auction at the Gala, and most of all, the chance to re-connect outdoors with friends,” said Board Chair Dr. Franco Chevalier.
Ticket purchases will be placed through the Florida AIDS Walk. The Walk’s sponsor, AHF, is generously matching the price of all ticket purchases. Tickets can be purchased at www.LatinosSalud.org/Gala.