Miami Recognition Dinner 2007

Most successful Recognition Dinner yet

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Jerry Chasen accepts the Eddy McIntyre Community Service Award from the late
McIntyre’s partner, Jojo Corvaia.
(Photo by Brett Hufziger/

Over 675 people attended the 11th Annual Miami Recognition Dinner on Saturday, November 3, 2007. The event, which was held at the InterContinental Miami on Biscayne Bay, grossed over $320,000, making it the most successful Recognition Dinner in the history of the event.

The awards ceremony included the presentation of the first Eddy McIntrye Community Service Award, named for the late Miami-Dade activist who founded the Recognition Dinner. The award was presented to attorney and local hero Jerry Chasen, a man who has contributed time, money and talent to almost every LGBT organization serving the Miami-Dade community. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Leonard Pitts, whose columns have long delivered the message of acceptance and equality, received a standing ovation for his inspiring speech as he accepted the 2007 Humanitarian Award.

The award ceremony was preceded by cocktail receptions and a silent auction, which also set a record by generating close to $50,000. Passport Magazine, a Diamond Media Sponsor, assembled a travel package for the auction that netted almost $10,000.

The Task Force owes a huge debt of gratitude to the dynamic steering committee that made this a record-breaking event. Led by co-chairs Richard Peter Wharton and Cindy Brown, the committee included David Cornell, Liebe Gadinsky, Sharon Kersten, David Price, Robert Watson and Dr. Hope Wine. Also active as “ambassadors” were Michael Aller, Alan Behmoiras, Debbie Gonzalez, Pete Halpern, Steve Leidner, Mary Prados, Christopher Russell and Elizabeth F. Schwartz.

Platinum sponsors included Thomas Blount, Dade Community Foundation, Darden Restaurants, Stephen Herbits, Merrill Lynch and James G. Pepper. Gold sponsors included AT&T, Akerman Senterfitt, Burger King, Greenberg Traurig, P.A., Investor Solutions, Mario Magcalas, MD, P.A., Merrill-Stevens, Andrew Tobias & Charles Nolan, WaMu and Olive Watson & Joanna Grover/Watson. Media sponsors included Express Gay News, The Miami Herald, Passport Magazine and Wire Magazine. 42 Below vodka donated the liquor for the event, and wine was provided by Other Wine & Spirits. Northern Trust supported the event by underwriting our communications expenses.

The 12th Annual Miami Recognition Dinner has been tentatively scheduled for October 18, 2008.