Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is over, and there’s same-sex marriage in New York. But there’s still work to do.

The recent suicide of Jamey Rodemeyer, a 14-year-old who had previously posted an “It Gets Better” video, showed how urgent there is a need to act on the issues of bullying and discrimination.

Without activists and organizations, the LGBT community would be lost in the struggle for equality.

On Saturday, October 15, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force will honor and support these activists and organizations with the 15th Annual Miami Recognition Dinner.

The Dinner takes place at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, where attendees will gather in the Sparkle Ballroom.  Co-chair of the dinner, Tim Nardi, states that “as a celebration of the 15 year anniversary…the theme will be ‘Sparkle’ and the evening is designed to evoke descriptions of ‘fun’ and ‘elegant.’ ”

Another sparkle to the evening are the honorees.

Ben Cohen, recipient of the 2011 Humanitarian Award, shows how LGBT allies are often at the forefront of LGBT activism.  A straight athlete with a Rugby World Cup championship, Cohen shares that he “…founded the StandUp Foundation…to raise awareness of the damaging effects of bullying and homophobia.”

Cohen will also be in town for a fundraiser “A Night With Ben” for his foundation Sunday, Oct. 16 at the home of Val Marmillion and Juan Pisani. Email Juan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to RSVP. Suggested donation of $150. Cocktail reception begins at 6:30 p.m.

South Florida attorney Georg Ketelhohn receives the 2011 Eddy McIntyre Community Service Award, and proves the value of the adage:  “think globally, but act locally.”  When SAVE Dade needed someone to direct the No To Discrimination campaign, Ketelhohn left his job as a law firm attorney for this unpaid position, and successfully challenged the discriminatory legislation.  Ketelhohn now works with the law firm of Siegfried, Rivera, Lerner, De La Torre & Sobel, P.A., contributing to the LGBT community as board treasurer with Florida Together, a coalition of LGBT groups.

The sparkle doesn’t end there.

Attendees can expect a sumptuous dinner, dancing, and a silent auction that includes items such as spa treatments, gym memberships, original art and jewelry, and American Airlines tickets for all levels of wanderlust—Hawaii, South America, Europe, the U.S. as well as other locales.

Co-chair Tim Nardi, says the evening is designed for “attendees… to do what they enjoy the most—talk to friends, bid at the auction and dance.”

Speaking of what attendees enjoy, the official stage sponsor is Showtime’s The L Word Complete Series. Fans of the show can look forward to an appearance by actress Pam Grier.

Outside of the glamor, the real sparkle is how the Miami Recognition Dinner benefits the LGBT community.  In 2004, the Task Force began producing the Dinner and the Winter Party.  Throughout the years, more than $1 million has benefited many organizations including the South Beach AIDS Project, Aqua Foundation for Women, and Equality Florida.

Attendees receive general admission to the dinner for $200.  VIP admission is $300, and includes a cocktail reception.  For tickets, visit or call 305-571-1924.

Saturday, October 14, 2011
National Gay & Lesbian Task Force
15th Annual Miami Recognition Dinner