The Pride Center in Fort Lauderdale held the fundraiser “An Evening in Paradise” at the home of Jim Walker and Lee Rubin Thursday night. Walker and Rubin were also co-chairs of the event, including Irwin Drucker and Joe Guerroro. Their goal was to raise $50,000 for the center.
Michael Holtz, Mr. Gay USA 2011 (who also holds the title of 2nd. Mr. World), greeted party-goers, taking his photo alongside fans, who had the option of purchasing their photos from photographer, Steven Shires. Board member, Irwin Drucker, organized the food, putting catering from TJ Sushi, Mojo’s, Courtyard Cafe, Rodeo, Dapur, Kilwans, and Melting Pot on the menu. Michael Tank, a DJ for The Manor, created the musical atmosphere.
Ticket sales, sponsorship, and a donor’s silent auction alone raised $43,000. But an anonymous donor decided to match everything made at the party; money made on the raffle and photos, therefore, would be equaled, and eventually exceeded the $50,000 goal.
Steve Wetzler and Brad Stang are avid supporters of The Pride Center. Both men regularly attend meetings and events held at the center. Stang said, “There is never enough resources for the gay community, but the Pride Center provides so much more than ever expected.”