Charity Begins at Aqua Girl 2012
Since 1999, Aqua Girl has been one of South Florida’s most prominent fundraising festivals for girls who like girls.
Where else can you spend an afternoon by the pool at the Surfcomber, and fund the fight against LGBT bullying? Or watch a drag king show at a nightclub, and provide scholarships to women? Or see the cast of The Real L Word, and support South Florida LBT organizations with grants?
That is some of what Aqua Girl 2012 has to offer. Produced by the Aqua Foundation for Women, a not-for-profit foundation, Aqua Girl is a women’s festival with purpose.
Their web site asserts: "100% of the proceeds from Aqua Girl benefit Aqua Foundation for Women... whose primary mission is to serve as a funding catalyst for lesbian, bisexual and transgender wellness and equality in South Florida through grants, scholarships and initiatives."
The foundation awarded a grant to The Pride Center, so they can create an online directory of healthcare providers who address the concerns of LBT women. PFLAG in Fort Lauderdale and Safe Schools South Florida are also grant recipients.
Aqua Girl actually started as a one-night dance party called Sweet Charity, which supported the work of Gilda’s Club and Cancer Link.
Founder and Co-Chair for Aqua Girl, Alison Burgos, recalled how it all came together: "my friend Susan Burdian and I recognized the lack of fundraising, and engagement in the LBT community. We reached out to community leaders, organizations, promoters and celebrities. We had an amazing event and knew we had something special - Aqua Girl was born."
Entering its 13th year, the festival expects 11,000 attendees.
It has become internationally renowned with "women coming from... Britain, Germany, Argentina, Canada, Australia," Burgos confirmed.
Although many visitors travel a great distance, Burgos also attested that last year "32 percent of attendees [were] from South Florida."
South Florida attendees in 2012 will welcome the reappearance of a local favorite: "Our first DJ was Tracy Young, who has done a lot of work with Madonna. We’re very excited to have her back," Burgos said.