Here are SFGN's "Best of 2019" winners in the Groups category in Broward County.
The Bears of South Florida (BOSFL), is consistently chosen as best social group. BOSFL raises funds by offering opportunities for social and fraternal interaction between its more than 1,800 members.
The club strives for diversity and acceptance of any person who wishes to join. Membership within the club consists of bears, cubs and those who wish to socialize with such people.
There is no political agenda for the group, its focus is to encourage friendships, a positive attitude and camaraderie both within the group and in the community. Its goal is equal acceptance within the group regardless of any physical characteristic.
“Our mission is to provide a safe and welcoming space for the Bear community of South Florida to socialize and engage in fundraising activities to benefit local LGBTQ organizations,” said Kevin Daft, President of BOSFL. “We're an active group, sponsoring events like pool parties, bowling nights, theater and cultural events, movies, ‘meet-ups’ at local establishments, dinners, ‘Scare a Bear’ at Enigma Haunt, trips to Miami and Flamingo Gardens, ‘Bear-aoke' nights and more.”
But it’s not just about fun though. It’s also about giving back to the community.
“We've had a lot of fun in 2019 and have raised a lot of money; we anticipate awarding grants totaling $12,000 to six local nonprofits at our holiday dinner in December,” Daft said. “This really is a very friendly and fun group of guys. If you're looking to make some new friends through a variety of different social events, join us!”
Group For Seniors
Tuesdays 10-11:30 a.m.
Pride Center at Equality Park
2040 North Dixie Highway,
Active Aging Manager;
954-463-9005; ext. 109
For the third year in a row, SFGN readers chose the Pride Center at Equality Park’s weekly “Coffee & Conversation” get-togethers as the best group for seniors.
Every Tuesday morning literally hundreds of seniors (mostly men) and their friends gather at the main hall of the Pride Center for coffee, tea, chocolate, bagels, pastries and each other’s company. Those who are present at C&C, many of whom are shut-ins the rest of the week, learn about their community from Bruce Williams, the Pride Center’s Active Aging Manager, other representatives from the Center, local activists and politicians, and hear a special report from the event’s sponsors, usually health related.
According to Bruce Williams, “human beings of all ages harbor a constant need for socialization and non-judgmental connection. In other gathering places there is often the fear of being too fat, too thin, too old, too tall, etc. At Coffee & Conversation, the only size that matters is the size of the donuts. Folks can relax, be themselves and simply enjoy being with one another. By muting the microphone for the entire first hour, we have shifted the focus away from the presenters and to the attendees.”
Coffee & Conversation is part of the Pride Center’s continuing outreach to LGBT seniors, which now includes the Residences at Equality Park, an affordable senior housing community currently under construction.
“As the executive director of a large continuous care retirement for 25 years, I watched some 5,000 folks go through the final stages of their lives. The take away for me was that ‘a planned 2nd/50 years is an enhanced 2nd/50 years!’ Sadly, our society deals with aging issues primarily as a crisis arises. By having a different C&C sponsor each week, attendees are made aware of the plethora of community resources in our area. My goal is to bribe attendees with coffee and goodies and at the same time to have them walk away with at least one additional resource each week.”
Group For Women
Like advocating for women, with women? Women In Network has been working tirelessly for 32 years to bring LBT women and their allies together to network, advocate, and educate.
"We are so honored to be chosen by SFGN's readers as the Best Group for Women for the eighth time,” said Denise Spivak, President of Women in Network. “It is our mission to serve the LBT community of South Florida and to build a network that can be a benefit to everyone. We are proud of the work that WIN has done for over 30 years, and we're excited to keep supporting South Florida's LBT women, our partner agencies, and our allies."
According to the group’s website: “The WIN Community and Network is the cornerstone of our organization. WIN connects like-minded, career-driven women across multiple industries and generations. Through various events and initiatives, we continue to expand our broad network and provide a community where women can turn to for support, guidance, and inspiration.
Group for Trans People and Youth
2312 Wilton Dr
SunServe is known for its social services groups so it’s no wonder they took home awards for Best Group for LGBT youth and Best Group for the Trans community.
For LGBT youth, winding up homeless or in foster care because of unsupportive parents is a very real possibility. But in Fort Lauderdale, there’s a home for that population: SunServe.
SunServe is a social services center for LGBT people of all ages with locations in Fort Lauderdale and Wilton Manors. One of their specialties is serving marginalized youth and the economically disadvantaged.
Director of Youth Services Tori Bertran said the basic life skills that SunServe teaches like cooking, opening bank accounts and doing laundry makes them different from most other LGBT youth organizations.
“Our social events always keep people engaged,” Betran said. Some of those events are game and movie nights, roller blading, and youth proms.
Along with basic life coaching, SunServe also hosts therapy, peer groups, and support groups including this year’s Best Group for Trans — Safe “T” Trans/Gender Non-Conforming Group that meets every Wednesday from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Bertran estimated SunServe sees at least 250 youth per year utilizing their services. With little exceptions, youth resources are free.
Wilton Manors Business Association wins Best Business Group for the second time in a row.
Wilton Manors Business Association links all the businesses in Wilton Manors and the surrounding area and offers excellent business-to-business networking opportunities.
WMBA meets the second Monday of every month at 6 p.m., and has a lunch meeting the 4thThursday of every month at various locations.
If you are interested in getting more information on WMBA check out their facebook @or send them an email .
WMBA has a full schedule of events including having a booth at pride, educational expos, and networking events. Check them out and get involved if you want to help Wilton Manors succeed.
Check out all of SFGN's 2019 Best Of's @
or see the Print edition @