A bartender at Aqua Nightclub in Key West, Laurie Thibaud has been active in the LGBT community for many years. She has chaired events, including Womenfest, and has assisted with numerous fundraisers for a variety of organizations, raising money for AIDS Help, Breast Cancer Research, Wounded Warriors, the Florida Keys Animal Shelter and the Sister Season Fund, among countless others. Most recently, Thibaud has spent all of her free time volunteering with hurricane recovery efforts in the Keys.

“My life changed after Hurricane Irma,” Thibaud said. “The devastation that affected the Keys made me acutely aware of our housing crisis in the middle and upper Keys, directly affecting the service industry down here.”

While working with the crisis relief team and Keys Strong during the aftermath, Thibaud said she developed a new appreciation for her fellow Keys residents.

“Their resilience and sense of community continue to inspire me in all that I do,” Thibaud said.

A resident of the Keys for more than 15 years, Thibaud says she has “embraced and been embraced by our Keys motto of ‘one human family.’”

“My mother was a huge influence in my life. As a result, I don’t feel complete in my daily life if I’m not being of service,” Thibaud said.


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