Fortitude Weekend Kicks Off in Lauderdale

Fortitude, a weekend featuring over 12 entertaining events during President’s Day Weekend 2011 makes its debut February 17.

Fortitude includes a film festival, comedy night, live concert, Women’s and Men’s pool parties, sunset cocktails, brunch, and nightclub/bar events. (See Nightlife by J.W. Arnold

The driving force behind Fortitude Weekend is Nick De Biase of Centaur Entertainment, the largest LGBT record label. “The concept arose when both of my parents were dying from cancer at the end of 2009”, says De Biase.  “My mother, Lydia, was a very giving person. Before she passed away, I told her that I would establish a foundation in her name as my last “gift” to her – to carry on her legacy of giving and to honor her memory.”

He chose the name Fortitude for this weekend of events because the word “connotes strength, heart, determination, will power, courage, spirit and toughness – all words that also define us as members of the LGBT community in terms of what we have to face and overcome in life – and the “fort” doubles back on the wonderful city Fort Lauderdale.”

If the event is successful, De Biase hopes to direct the weekend’s proceeds to amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, and local non-profits, including the Pride Center at Equality Park.

Their co-coordinators are preliminarily but cautiously optimistic. “We are expecting several thousand people from all over the country to attend the many different events for Fortitude Weekend,” says Cindy Shaw, who is part of the production team for Fortitude Weekend. “Fortitude is about raising money for worthy charities, but is also about coming out as a community to laugh, to play and to be entertained.”

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