Lake Worth Gay & Lesbian Center to Hold Stonewall Party
Compass, the gay and lesbian community center of Lake Worth and the Palm Beaches, will hold its annual Stonewall Black and White Party at the Harriet Himmel Theater at City Place in West Palm Beach on Saturday, June 30 at 8:30 p.m.
Tickets are $15 for members and may be reserved by calling the Center at 561-533-9699. For non-members, tickets are $25 before the event and $30 at the door. Black and white costumed, cocktail or casual attire is required.
"We encourage people to buy in advance to avoid long lines at the door," said Julie Seaver, Compass’s development director. "We’re expecting over a thousand guests this year so advance purchases will help move people into the festivities smoothly."
Pre-pay tickets are available at Compass, Studio 205 in downtown Lake Worth, The Bar, The Mad Hatter, Mara and H.G. Roosters. They may also be purchased at Compass’s website - www.compassglcc.com.
DJ Josh will spin dance music and an extensive lineup of entertainment will be provided including Melissa St. John, Velvet Lenore, the Massengill Sisters, Ricky Rollick, and more.
Sponsor Bruce Sutka and Sutra International Design will once again transform the Harriet from a hall to a ball. Heaven and Earth Floral, another sponsor, will provide black and white floral arrangements to compliment the design
Other sponsors include Commcare Pharmacy, Hotspots, James Stafford Photography, McGladrey, Ovations Catering, and Wells Fargo.
South Florida Gay News is the official media sponsor.
Many other local merchants and individuals have donated items for the annual silent auction held in conjunction with the ball. Jewelry, wine, vacations and many other luxury items are up for grabs by the highest bidders.
The Stonewall Ball was created in 2002 as a way to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots that began the gay equality movement on a hot summer’s night in New York City.
From the beginning, the focus of the ball has been to raise the political awareness of the Palm Beach County gay community by inviting elected and appointed county officials to meet their constituents and get to know them better.
"It’s like, they wanted my vote and they came to get it," said Seaver about her own experience with the event. "Before joining Compass [in 2007] and attending my first ball in my first week, I was not politically active at all."
"But Compass made me understand the need to vote," she continued. "And who did I know to vote for? The people who came and spoke to me at Stonewall, of course."
Seaver was quick to point out that the ball is educational and not political or partisan. "Everyone is welcome," she said.
According to Seaver, the Stonewall Ball became the Stonewall Black and White Party in 2009 when internationally recognized designer, Bruce Sutka decorated the Harriet in black and white and guests were invited to wear black and white attire. "It was incredible," Seaver said. The people became a moving part of the décor. Everyone loved it.
Each year Compass honors two leaders in the community with the Compass Leadership Award and the Michael Brown Faces of the Community Award.
This year the Leadership Award was given to Lillian Tamayo, the Chief Executive Officer of Planned Parenthood, for her efforts at promoting social justice initiatives that include LGBT people. Compass presented the award at the National Organization for Women’s Florida State Conference in May and Tamayo will be invited to speak at the ball.
This year’s Michael Brown Faces of the Community Award will be presented to Dr. Donald Waldron as a non-elected or appointed official who has been a consistent advocate for equality for LGBT people.
A quick perusal of the Stonewall Ball Facebook Page (on.fb.me/KqxA83) shows the enthusiasm of Palm Beach County’s gay community.
"Can’t wait to see what Bruce Sutka and the Compass team have in store for this year!" wrote Jamie Todd Foreman.
From Richard Freefall Scott, "Wow I haven’t been in 6 years or so... can’t wait!"
And someone named "Princess Arabella Malone" is eagerly anticipating her first time at the event.
"We are really excited about the ball," Seaver said. "This year’s ball is the kickoff to Compass’ 25th Anniversary Celebration with many new community events to look forward to in the coming months ahead."