The National LGBTQ Task Force Gala, which will be held in Miami on Saturday, Oct. 6 at the Fountainbleu Hotel, is the premier social event of South Florida’s LGBT community.
The black-tie gala provides an opportunity to see and be seen for hundreds of the community’s opinion leaders and decision-makers. The gala will feature Emmy Award-winning actor and musician Jai Rodriguez as its emcee for the evening. Rodriguez is best known as the “Culture Vulture” on the original version of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” Singer-songwriter Kimberly Locke, from “American Idol,” will perform as the headline entertainer.
Tickets for the event are $450 per person.
This year’s gala will honor Robin Roberts and Sam Champion with its National Leadership Award. Roberts is the co-anchor of ABC's "Good Morning America." In December 2013, she publicly acknowledged her longtime partner, Amber Laign.
“By coming out as a lesbian while a national news personality, Robin Roberts has been a role model for countless LGBTQ people,” said Rea Carey, executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force. “We are excited to honor her as a lesbian and media leader. Roberts stands for who we are and what is important in our society: authentic, genuine, courageous and dedicated to the hard work of journalism.”
Sam Champion is a five-time Emmy and Peabody Award-winning anchor best-known for his stint on "Good Morning America," where he became the first news anchor to come out publicly. He has played a key role in disseminating live coverage from some of America’s most consequential environmental catastrophes, including the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and Super Storm Sandy.
In addition to being one of the country’s most trusted anchors, Sam is a passionate advocate for the LGBT community. He has raised awareness of HIV prevention, was a recipient of the Human Rights Campaign’s Visibility Award, and he was one of the first openly gay news personalities in the world.
Of course, the event is more than just a reason to honor celebrities, get dressed up and drink champagne; it also serves as the organization’s major fundraising event. In 2017, the event raised more than a $500,000.
The gala is produced by the National LGBTQ Task Force, the oldest national organization dedicated to achieving equality for LGBTQ people, and benefits dozens of organizations serving the Miami-Dade LGBTQ community. To date the Task Force has donated nearly $2.7 million to The Miami Foundation. More than 75 different organizations serving the Miami-Dade LGBTQ community have received grants from the foundation. The foundation has provided $850,000 for organizations offering services for LGBTQ youth; $390,000 to the three organizations – ACLU, Equality Florida and SAVE — that were instrumental in achieving marriage equality in Florida; and nearly $240,000 to agencies providing mental health services to LGBTQ adults, including those specializing in suicide prevention, HIV counseling and support for survivors of domestic violence.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a gala if there weren’t a silent auction and a raffle. Two premium tickets to Broadway’s “Torch Song Trilogy,” which includes a backstage to meet the show’s star, Michael Urie, is guaranteed to be among the most coveted items. The raffle offers a chance to win a beachfront Hawaiian escape for two. The package includes first class flights on American Airlines and a 7-night stay at the Grand Wailea Resort. Only 200 tickets for the raffle will be sold. Tickets for the raffle are available at thetaskforcegala.org/hawaiian-escape.
If the $450 gala ticket is beyond your budget, you can still attend by volunteering. Volunteers are needed to load goods and materials on the night before the event, as well as on the day of the gala, providing such services as; aiding in auction setup and supervision, ballroom setup, registration, assisting with media relations, hospitality, and auction close-out.
Visit TheTaskForceGala.org/tickets to purchase tickets. To volunteer visit TheTaskForceGala.org/volunteer.