Press

Task Force presents ‘Sparkle’: the 16th annual Miami Recognition Dinner

Date: 
September 20, 2012

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Gino Campodonico
305.409.3529
ginorcampodonico@gmail.com

Joseph Quinones
305.978.6695
josephaquinones@gmail.com

Gala will honor national advocate Matt Foreman and local activist Elizabeth F. Schwartz

MIAMI, Sept. 20 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is proud to produce the 16th annual Miami Recognition Dinner, presented by Wells Fargo, at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach on Saturday, Oct. 6. This annual fundraising event honors individuals for their outstanding contributions to the social, cultural, political and humanitarian needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

This year the Task Force will be honoring advocate Matt Foreman, currently the director of Gay and Immigrant Rights Programs at the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund in San Francisco, with the 2012 National Leadership Award. Local activist and attorney Elizabeth F. Schwartz will receive the 2012 Eddy McIntyre Community Service Award. The event will be hosted by actor/director LeVar Burton.

For the first time ever, the Miami Recognition Dinner will offer complimentary on-site childcare for all guests who have children in honor of Schwartz, who has dedicated her life to protecting and expanding rights for LGBT families. (Childcare services must be reserved in advance.)

Foreman has spent his adult life working for LGBT rights, as a volunteer, as executive director of local, statewide and national LGBT organizations and, most recently, as director of one of the most LGBT-supportive foundations in the nation. He headed up the Task Force from 2003 to 2008, where he was a tireless and outspoken advocate for fairness and justice.

In 2004, Foreman led efforts to ensure the Winter Party Festival and Miami Recognition Dinner stayed in community hands and continued to generate financial support to Miami-Dade LGBT organizations. While he was executive director at the Empire State Pride Agenda from 1997 to 2003, New York enacted a gay-inclusive civil rights law and a hate crimes law, repealed its consensual sodomy law and appropriated $12 million specifically for LGBT (non-HIV) health and human services. Foreman also co-founded Heritage of Pride, organizers of New York City's LGBT pride events, and built the New York City Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project into the nation's leading LGBT crime victim assistance agency.

Schwartz is an attorney in her 15th year of law practice and has devoted much of her life to serving the LGBT community. Her practice emphasizes representation of LGBT people in family formation and dissolution matters, and she lectures locally and nationally about the importance of same-sex couples protecting their loved ones through estate planning and contracts.

Schwartz is chair of the Gay and Lesbian Lawyers Association of South Florida and a member of the National Family Law Advisory Council of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. She has served as pro bono counsel in several cases seeking to overturn Florida’s 1977 ban forbidding gays and lesbians from adopting children. She is a founding member of the Aqua Foundation for Women and has donated her time, money and expertise to many organizations serving the LGBT community on a local, state and national level. Her contributions have been recognized by many organizations, including Equality Florida, SAVE, SunServe and the Miami-Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

Launched in 1997, the Miami Recognition Dinner has become a vital source of funding for organizations serving the LGBT community. Since assuming responsibility for the dinner and its sister event, Winter Party Festival, in 2004, the Task Force has donated nearly $1.4 million from the proceeds of the two events to the Miami-Dade community. The Task Force donates the majority of the proceeds to The Miami Foundation’s GLBT Community Projects Fund, which re-grants the money to local organizations.

At last year’s event, more than 35 sponsors and 775 guests contributed to another record-breaking year. The event’s coveted silent auction surpassed records from previous years raising more than $120,000, contributing to an event total of well over $450,000.

Tickets to the 16th annual Miami Recognition Dinner are $250 for general admission and $350 for VIP admission (which includes a private VIP cocktail reception prior to the dinner). For ticket information, visit http://www.thetaskforce.org/miami or call 305.571.1924. Become a fan of the Miami Recognition Dinner on Facebook by visiting http://www.facebook.com/MiamiDinner.

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

–30–

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force builds the power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community from the ground up. The Task Force is the country's premier social justice organization fighting to improve the lives of LGBT people and working to create positive, lasting change and opportunity for all. The Task Force is a 501(c)(3) corporation incorporated in Washington, D.C. Contributions to the Task Force are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law. © 2012, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 1325 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 600, Washington, D.C., 20005. Phone 202.393.2241. TTY 202.393.2284. theTaskForce@theTaskForce.org.