Compass, the LGBT community center of the Palm Beaches, is celebrating 30 years. Last week’s Stonewall Ball showcased this milestone, which was held at the Harriet Himmel Theater.

“Stonewall Ball has become the premiere LGBTQ event in Palm Beach County. Thirty is a huge milestone and we feel the growth and success everyday by witnessing the life changing and saving services we are able to provide. We truly organize the entire LGBTQ from our youth program to mature adult programming,” said Julia Murphy, Chief Development Officer for Compass. "To commemorate 30 years of service Compass decided to curate the Stonewall Ball based on the 30 year anniversary tradition of wearing pearls. The flavor and the ambiance of the party was supported by the elegant decor from Bruce Sutka Design and delicious catering from The Hilton West Palm Beach. Guests were treated to hors d'oeuvres like Mushroom Phyllo Roll with Onion Demi, Mini Crab Cake with Cilantro Remoulade, and Churrasco Steak with Endive and Chimichurri just to name a few.”

Although the Hilton made the food, it was the VIP Awards Reception that took the cake. This year's VIP Awards Reception was hosted by special guest host Virginia Sinicki from the KVJ Show. The honorees included Carole Benowitz, President of PFLAG Palm Beach and PFLAG State Coordinator, who received the Michael Brown “Faces of the Community” Award and Erica Whitfield, District 4 Palm Beach County School Board Member, who was presented with the Compass Leadership Award. 

This year also saw the introduction of the Marsha P. Johnson award, which was awarded to Velvet Lenore Miss Palm Beach Pride 2016. Marsha P. Johnson is considered to be a pioneer in the LGBT community. Her audacity and activism paved the way in the Stonewall movement. 

Throughout the evening, guests were allowed to bid on items from a silent auction. Items from the auction were donated by local businesses like CrossFit 1401 from West Palm Beach and Aces High Tattoo in Lake Worth.

One of the main takeaways from Stonewall is the fashion. For the 30th anniversary, partygoers definitely dressed to impress. Some came decked out in the traditional black and white attire, while others came dressed in sophisticated formal gowns. Whatever the attire, guests seemed comfortable in their own skin, in addition to being fully accepted for themselves. The crowd was pretty diverse, so the task of DJ was tough.

Music for the evening was handled by popular DJ Legato from Hits 97.3 Miami. He effortlessly mixed in dance-floor ready jams from Bruno Mars, Bad Bunny, Lady Gaga, and Whitney Houston without breaking a sweat. Along with the music, there was special entertainment from Miss Rianna Petrone-Miss Palm Beach Pride 2018, Velvet Lenore-Miss Palm Beach Pride 2016, and Melissa St. John-The First Lady of the Palm Beaches. 

How do you top your 30th anniversary? 

In the gay world, you are only as big as your last performance. So that means next year's extravaganza will be out of this world. 

“It was an honor to be given the opportunity to put together such an extraordinary event," Murphy said. "Stonewall grew this year due to the support and generosity of our host committee and sponsors.”  

For more information on how you can get involved in Compass, visit their website at