On Sunday, November 15th, the 13th Annual Equality Florida Browwrd Gala, presented by PNC Bank, was held at Hyatt Regancy Pier Sixty-Six. The waterfront Panorama Ballroom and Terrace was transformed into a romantic paradise by "I DO Custom Events" coordinator, Devin Maclachlan. Over 400 community leaders and guests packed the room to celebrate the successful work of Equality Florida and the incredible advances in LGBT rights this year. Also in attendance were the leaders of tomorrow! Thirty student leaders of Gay Straight Alliance clubs of Broward high schools were recipients of complimentary tickets to the Gala thanks to our generous sponsors.
BMW's shiny new cars, the Men's Wearhouse models, botanical displays by Horti-culture, jazz by Lenard Rutledge, dancing on the terrace with DJ Karin Ward, lavish food offerings, the PNC Photo Booth, and everyone's favorite NBC 6 reporter and emcee for the night, Jamie Guirola, made for a fun evening full of excitement and anticipation.
But the stars of the evening were undoubtedly the Voice for Equality honoree, Jim Obergefell, and the presenter of the award, Judge Sarah Zabel, who brought hundreds of attendees to tears with their beautiful words of personal journeys and about the power of love and justice. Jim added that we must continue "to work toward the day when no kid grows up feeling alone, different or scared".
"Rosie's Bar and Grill" owners, Cliff Mulcahy and John Zieba received the Equality Means Business Award for years of community support and involvement.
Equality Florida CEO, Nadine Smith, gave an inspiring "State of the State" address which praised Broward's leadership on LGBT rights and the tremendous ongoing support by the people of Broward County for Equality Florida's statewide work that benefits us all. If you would like to answer Nadine's challenge and add your financial support, click here: eqfl.org/browardgala.
Click here to watch Jim Obergefell's speech and Nadine's State of the State address.
A huge thank you to our incredibly generous sponsors, our tireless Host and Steering Committees, led by the incomparable Nate Klarfeld, our elected leaders, guests, supporters and volunteers, who made this year's gala the best ever. So much more is possible because you are standing with us! I can only imagine what we will achieve together in 2016! Join our Host Committee or become a sponsor and join the best team at the heart of our success! Please email [email protected] for more information.
South Florida Development Director
P.S. We have lots pictures of the Gala! Visit our Facebook page by clicking here. Photo credit to JR Davis, Jack Gillis, and Stephen Lang.