FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Katee Tully, chair – 727-729-1798 or
ST. PETERSBURG HOSTS EQUALITY FLORIDA GALA - APRIL 20
The Equality Florida Gala will be held April 20 at St. Petersburg’s Dali Museum, 1 Dali Boulevard, from 7 to 10 p.m., followed by an after party from 10 to 1 p.m. at The Avenue, 330 First Avenue S., with live music by The Honkeys. Tickets $100. Purchase tickets at http://eqfl.org/pinellasgala .
ST. PETERSBURG, FL – From the first steps onto a red carpet and an elegant soiree at St. Petersburg’s world famous Dali Museum, to a rousing After Party at The Avenue with R&B party band The Black Honkeys, organizers are planning an event like none other seen before as Equality Florida presents its annual gala on April 20.
Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Through fundraising events such as the Equality Florida Galas, the organization raises funds for its lobbying and education programs.
“Many Voices. One Goal,” is the theme of this year’s gala. With the Salvador Dali Museum as a backdrop, up to 500 attendees will enjoy an open bar, a delicious array of appetizers, and a lavish silent auction of “experiences,” while pausing to honor five community leaders for their work in supporting equality for all. The evening will be hosted by actor and entertainer Matthew McGee.
Those to be honored include Tampa Bay Rays Manager Joe Maddon, educator and former Pinellas Schools Superintendent Julie Mastry Janssen, C 1 Bank CEO Trevor Burgess, Metro Wellness and Community Centers CEO Lorraine Langlois and 16 year old entrepreneur and philanthropist Allegra Kartha, who held a yard sale recently and raised $2,800 which she donated to Equality Florida.
Participants will have the opportunity to bid on several unique “experiences” during the Silent Auction. Items include: Two Center Court tickets to Wimbledon; a day with Chef Jeffrey Jew, who appeared on Bravo’s Top ChefSeattle; an arts package that includes your name to be used as a character in an upcoming Kris Radish novel, plus a personal glass blowing experience at the Morean Arts Center and Hot Shop; a New Orleans epicurean tour that includes a hotel stay and an evening of fine dining; an original artwork by painter David Frutko; and a limo-chauffeured party for you and your friends in a fully catered luxury suite for an upcoming concert at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Following the Gala, which runs from 7 to 10 p.m., all ticket-holders are invited to enjoy some “funky grooving good jams” by The Black Honkeys at an exclusive after party for ticket-holders only at The Avenue in downtown St. Petersburg, 330 First Ave. S. This trendy burger joint by day will be the hottest night spot in Tampa Bay as the Black Honkeys play their intoxicating level of funk and soul to Gala guests.
“Many Voices. One Goal” is more than just a theme,” explains event chair Katee Tully. “Knowing that equality is a right to all, we are expanding our traditional focus from the LGBT community to include the community-at-large. St. Petersburg and the surrounding cities is a place where we believe all people share the same goal to treat all its citizens with equality and respect.”
Tully encouraged those who hope to attend this year’s gala to purchase tickets in advance, as there is limited capacity at the Dali Museum and more than 250 tickets have already been committed.
"It is an exciting time for LGBT Floridians. We are seeing victories across the state, but there is still work to do," says Nadine Smith, Equality Florida Executive Director. "Our Galas give us the much needed time and place to thank our champions, update our members and welcome straight allies in helping make history. We welcome everyone be a part of moving our community, our state and our country more rapidly down the path to equality."
The Equality Florida Gala is made possible through the support of many in the community. A Steering Committee of community leaders has organized the event, which is promoted by a record number of nearly 200 hosts and 50 corporate sponsors, including C1 Bank, Coca Cola, Florida Blue, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and more.
Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.