“It’s community celebrating community. We are celebrating ourselves. We’re celebrating each other.”
That’s how Lori Lynch, executive director of the LGBT Visitor Center in Miami Beach, described the Pink Flamingo Awards at last year’s ceremony.
Each year, the Visitor Center organizes an online vote to let members of the community pick their favorite individuals, businesses and institutions.
The awards, 21 categories, include local hero, nonprofit organization, fine dining restaurant, resort hotel, drag queen, dance club, bartender and spa.
Holam Antonetti was chosen as Favorite Promoter last year.
Antonetti, who owns Lesbo GoGo and organizes various events around South Florida, said the award has been of great benefit to her. “I do different events every single month for lesbians at different venues. With that said, my doors are always open to everyone.”
The awards gave her company more exposure and directly led to her being appointed to the board of directors of Unity Coalition, a Latino LGBT equality organization. “It, to me, is one of the most caring and giving non-profits.” It’s an organization she didn’t even know existed until its president, Herb Sosa, contacted her after he saw her win the award.
“I do different events every single month for lesbians at different venues. With that said, my doors are always open to everyone.” — Holam Antonetti
He also featured her on the cover of the November, 2015 issue of Ambiente, an English/Spanish/Portuguese LGBT magazine. Sosa is editor-in-chief of Ambiente.
She added that she’s glad the Pink Flamingo Awards aren’t divided along gender lines. “It was huge because I won against the boys. Amongst men and women.”
This year’s winners will be announced at the 4th Annual Pink Flamingo Awards ceremony which will be held on Thursday, Sept. 22 from 7 to 10 p.m. at Jungle Island in Miami.
Voting began online on July 21. The top five vote-getters from each category were announced on Saturday, Aug. 27 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Epic Hotel in Miami. Voting begins on Aug. 29. Visit PinkFlamingoAwards.com. Tickets can also be purchased there.
“Our vibrant LGBTQ community helps make Miami and the beaches one of the top LGBTQ destinations in the world!" — Visitor Center's website
In a press release, Lynch stated that the online voting by the community is what sets the Pink Flamingo Awards apart from many other recognition events. “This is one of the reasons we chose the theme Community Celebrating Community for the event, as all of the individuals and organizations are submitted by the people who know them or use their services.”
The awards ceremony also serves as the Visitor Center’s only fundraising event.
“Our vibrant LGBTQ community helps make Miami and the beaches one of the top LGBTQ destinations in the world! The LGBT Visitor Center provides a place for you to feel welcomed and at home. A place of community, information and resources. We offer weekly support groups including Narcotics Anonymous and Smart Recovery, Yoga and Dance classes, Educational Workshops and an array of Social Events,” reads the Visitor Center’s website.
Tickets for the announcement party are $25 for individuals. The evening includes a night on the Epic Hotel’s pool deck, open bar, hors d’oeuvres and entertainment by DJ Adora. Prices for the event at Jungle Island range from $125 per individual to $1,250 per table. The evening includes an open bar cocktail reception, three-course seated dinner, a silent auction and live entertainment featuring the evening’s celebrity emcee, comedian and actress Julie Goldman.