Press

Task Force to honor Steve Adkins, Lt. Dan Choi and Rev. James Trapp at 13th Annual Miami Recognition Dinner

Date: 
October 01, 2009

CONTACT:
Michael Bath
Special Events Manager
(Office) 305.571.1924
mbath@theTaskTorce.org

MIAMI, Oct. 1 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force will honor Steve Adkins, Lt. Dan Choi and Rev. James Trapp at its 13th Annual Miami Recognition Dinner on Saturday, Oct. 17, at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. This major fundraising event recognizes individuals for their outstanding contributions to the social, cultural, political and humanitarian needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Launched in 1997, the Miami Recognition Dinner quickly cemented its place as the premier event for uniting the community and honoring individuals and organizations for their achievements and efforts in fostering equal rights for LGBT people. Over the past decade, it has become a vital source of funding for organizations serving the LGBT community. To date, the Miami Recognition Dinner and its sister event, Winter Party Festival, have raised over $2 million.

"Despite the fact that this has been the worst year the U.S. economy has experienced in the history of the Miami Recognition Dinner, we are actually ahead of where we were last year in terms of revenue," says David Price, who co-chairs the event with Liebe Gadinsky. "We have more corporate sponsors than ever. I think people support this dinner because it doesn't just benefit one organization, it benefits the entire community."

The Miami Recognition Dinner features two pre-dinner cocktail receptions (one exclusively for VIP ticket-holders), a silent auction, an awards ceremony during dinner and dancing following the program. Grey Goose is donating the spirits for a full bar, and Barefoot Wine & Bubbly is providing the wine.

The 13th Annual Miami Recognition Dinner will take place on Saturday, Oct. 17, beginning at 6:30 p.m., at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, located at 4441 Collins Avenue. Tickets are available for a donation of $200. VIP tickets are $300 and include admission to the VIP cocktail reception and preferred seating during the dinner. Because the Task Force is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, donations are tax deductible as permissible under law.

All proceeds from the Miami Recognition Dinner benefit organizations serving the LGBT community. The Task Force donates two-thirds of the net proceeds to the Miami-Dade LGBT community through a granting program administered by the Dade Community Foundation. The remaining one-third of the proceeds helps fund the Task Force's efforts to achieve equality for all LGBT people.

The Honorees

2009 Eddy McIntyre Community Service Award: Steve Adkins
The name Steve Adkins is practically synonymous with "community service." Since moving to South Florida a decade ago, he has contributed his time and talents to many local organizations, bridging the business, nonprofit and LGBT communities. As president of the Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, the largest nonprofit in Miami-Dade County for LGBT businesses, Adkins has more than quadrupled the organization's membership. He has played a significant role in educating business owners and elected officials about the need for and value of domestic partner benefits and nondiscrimination policies. He has also served as a major force for uniting the diverse segments of the community, reviving and serving as chair of the Executive Directors' Round Table. In short, Adkins belongs to many communities and serves them all.

2009 National Leadership Award: Lt. Dan Choi
West Point graduate Dan Choi changed his life forever by appearing on The Rachel Maddow Show this past March and uttering three words: "I am gay." Despite his extreme value to the military as an Arabic speaker, he was notified one month later that the Army had begun discharge proceedings against him under its "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy. Lt. Choi has helped form Knights Out, an organization of West Point alumni advocating for the rights of lesbian, gay and bisexual people to serve openly in the military. He has become a fulltime activist for the LGBT community and has emerged as the face of the campaign to overturn DADT.

2009 Humanitarian Award: Rev. James Trapp
When Rev. James Trapp announced to his congregation at Unity on the Bay in Miami that he would be leaving them to take on the role of president and CEO of the Association of Unity Churches International, there was a prolonged and total silence followed by resounding applause. This beloved pastor is responsible for transforming the 125-member congregation into a fully inclusive, diverse family of over 1,300. He has carried his mission of outreach and his passion for peace to his new post in Missouri and as far away as Spain. A dynamic speaker and powerful voice for justice, he not only inspires us to reach our full potential, but also motivates the broader community to stand up for LGBT rights.

Sponsors to Date

Platinum Sponsors: Burger King Corporation, Dade Community Foundation, James G. Pepper, Wachovia/Wells Fargo.

Gold Sponsors: AT&T, Akerman Senterfitt, Best Buy, Bradley Carlson & Aurelio Tiné, Liebe & Seth Gadinsky, Greenberg Traurig, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Kraft Foodservice, Mario Magcalas, M.D., P.A., Merrill Lynch, Shore Club.

Silver Sponsors: Alberto Arias & Wood Kinnard, Anonymous, Stephen E. Herbits, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally Heyman, Mark Kirby & Jerry Chasen.

Bronze Sponsors: Alan Behmoiras, Karen Costello & Rosemary Wilder, Lawrence R. Hyer, Christopher Russell & Mario Acosta, Jr., Elizabeth F. Schwartz, Barton G. Weiss, Judge David Young, Paula Redd Zeman.

Underwriters: Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Berger Singerman, Bonnelly Productions, Brinker International, Cargill, Credelis, Grey Goose Vodka, William Neubauer/Comprehensive Money Management, Shore Club.

Media Sponsors: Atlantic Broadband, Mack Multimedia, Mark's List, Passport Magazine, She Magazine, SoBe Social Club, South Florida Blade, Wire Magazine.

To learn more about the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, follow us on Twitter: @TheTaskForce.

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.