Preserving History: Stonewall Museum’s Annual Gala at the Ritz

The Stonewall National Museum and Archives will host their annual gala Feb. 22 at the Ritz Carlton onFort Lauderdale Beach.

“We are thrilled to bring together the community, some national figures as well, important people that are our supporters, both old and new to come together to celebrate,” Chris Rudisill, the executive director of the museum, said about the fundraising event. 

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, which “we take our name from,” Rudisill said. “We work to promote understanding through the preservation and sharing of LGBTQ history and culture.” 

This year they are “changing things up a bit.” Usually, they host their event in conjunction with a concert at the Broward Center. This year, they are hosting it “all on their own,” with their own entertainment. 

“We want to showcase the diversity in our community,” Rudisill said. “The individuals we picked were really significant for this year.” 

Some of the important figures attending are author and advocate, Brian McNaught, who will receive the Legacy award. Rudisill called McNaught the “Godfather of the LGBT diversity corporate training,” as he has been an advocate for the community for a long time. Rudisill said he has been a “friend and partner” to the museum over the years. “His commitment to the preservation of LGBT history is just beyond belief.”

Jazz Jennings will receive the Visibility award. “It is remarkable, the visibility she has given to the trans community.” Jennings has worked with the museum’s education project, according to Rudisill.   

They have another honorary that they have yet to announce, but Rudisill said they will announce i“very soon.”

The event will also feature keynote speaker, actress, and activist, Kathy Nijimy, who you may know from the film “Hocus Pocus.” Rudisill called her an “activist and ally for the community.”  

“Queer Eyefor the Straight Guy”television star, Carson Kressley, will be a guest presenter at the event. He will present the Legacy award to McNaught. 

“There’s never been a more important time than what we see in the world around us that we really have to be vigilant on making sure we protect that history for future generations,” Rudisill said as this event helps preserve history. 

The event will be held at the Ritz Carlton at Fort Lauderdale Beach on Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. Tickets are still on sale, visit purchase.