The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council (PBCHRC) held its third and final fundraiser last month in honor of twenty five years of championing human rights and civil equality for LGBT residents of Palm Beach County.
The event, a cocktail party with a variety of hors d’oeuvres was held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Living Room at the Four Seasons Resort in Palm Beach.
“It will be a little while before we have a final number,” said PBCHRC founder and president, Rand Hoch when asked about how much the event raised. “But it’s surely well over $25,000. More than 260 people were registered at $125 each.”
Additionally, fifty organizations and individuals took congratulatory ads in the Twenty-fifth anniversary program book and the results of the silent auction had not been tallied by press deadline.
Two other silver anniversary fundraisers held in May and July respectively netted about $7,500 more for the organization, according to Hoch.
In May, the Ritz Carlton Palm Beach, subsequently rebranded as Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, hosted a reading by gay poet Richard Blanco who had read an original poem at the second Obama inaugural celebration. The reading netted more than $5,000.
In July, the Arts Garage in Delray Beach dedicated a night’s performance of their production of Beyond the Rainbow:Garland at Carnegie Hall by William Randall Beard, to PBCHRC helping raise another $2,500 plus.
The gathering last month was diverse in makeup and limited in speeches. In fact the only speaker for the evening was Mayor Jeri Muoio who read the West Palm Beach Proclamation declaring November 19, 2013 as Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Day.
“We decided to just make it a fun night,” Hoch said. “Most of the people here know who we are and what we’ve done for the past 25 years, and if they don’t, the beautiful program book they’ll get when they leave will fill them in.”
Hoch applauded the creators of the program book, Eric Telchin, Bill Procter and Scott Velozo, noting that Velozo, a graphic designer, had created the new red, white and blue anniversary Logo.
“Victor and Ross have brought a lot of people we might not otherwise have attracted and everyone seems to be mingling and having a good time,” Hoch added.
People came from outside the county as well. David Jobin, the new executive director of Stonewall National Museum and Library in Fort Lauderdale when speaking to SFGN expressed his appreciation for all PBCHRC has done and said he would be discussing cooperation opportunities for the two agencies in the future. Other attendees had come from Miami-Dade and some from Vero Beach.
PBCHRC was founded 25 years ago when Hoch was a newly practicing attorney and was fired for being gay. Since that time, with a few years absence while serving as a governor appointed judge, Hoch has pushed and pulled, cajoled and scolded elected officials up and down the county helping them understand the need for human rights and civil protections. For details on all that PBCHRC has done, visit their website at www.pbchrc.org. Donald Cavanaugh