Broward House raises funds for teen suicide hotline at Oct. 7 event

For the fourth year in a row Broward House, one of the most visible HIV/AIDS organizations in South Florida, will celebrate another successful year with their themed gala. The organization will also bestow an award upon the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, a major supporter. Tuesday’s Angels will also be honored as will Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz who has worked to ensure the LGBT-community are not ignored in Florida. Broward House is pleased revenue will be allocated to a new initiative – a teen suicide prevention and bullying hotline.


Of course the main draw to the gala is that it’s a party. Terry DeCarlo, Director of Public Relations with Broward House, hopes to raise $30,000 to support the organization.


“We do a different theme each year,” said DeCarlo. “The first one was Moulin Rouge, then we did the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, last year was right around Halloween so we did the Little Gala of Horrors. Nikki Adams and myself work together and try to think outside the box, something where people can dress up and let their hair down but still support a good cause.”


Typically at least 300 people come to the event, once again hosted at the Signature Grand in Davie. The venue, with façade and interior inspired by Italian villas, is well suited for the Cotton Club theme as such architecture was en vogue in the ‘20s.


“At this point I have over 200 confirmed guests,” added DeCarlo. “People are so last minute today, and we always get a rush of last minute buyers closer to the party date. So I expect another rush this year. We try to get everything donated through sponsorship.”


So far Florida Power and Light, Broward Health, Travelhost Elite are major donors. The Signature Grand underwrite 20 to 30 percent of the event. In terms of the hotline for DeCarlo said his organization began thinking of such a service this past summer.


“We have an arm called the M Project, which works with younger gay men,” said DeCarlo. “We wanted to know where youth call when they are in despair and cannot take being bullied anymore. We want a simple direct phone number for them so they can remember it easily when they are in pain. We are trying to create a social network and hotline for suicide prevention because, ultimately, these people want to hear someone’s voice.”


The event begins at 8 p.m., guests are encouraged to dress in a Roaring Twenties theme, in which to enjoy the antics of the Keystone Kops, the “gin soaked open bar” and what is sure to be a delicious three course meal. The event costs $100, pre-booked tables for 10 guests can be had for $950. As Halloween is just around the corner remember your costume can easily do double duty, take it from doing the Charleston on Oct., 7 to Manors Masquerade, on Oct., 30.


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