Charity & Causes In the Spotlight Miami Beach Philanthropy

‘Sparkle’ 18th Annual Miami Recognition Dinner

Sparkle 18th Annual Miami Recognition DinnerSaturday, October 11, 6:30pm – Fontainebleau Sparkle Ballroom, 4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach

The Miami Recognition Dinner is the premier annual celebration of South Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The National LGBTQ Task Force, the oldest national organization dedicated to achieving equality for all people, produces the event and donates a significant portion of the proceeds to other nonprofit organizations serving the Miami-Dade LGBT community.

The 18th Annual Miami Recognition Dinner presented by Wells Fargo, returned to the spectacular Sparkle Ballroom of the Fontainebleau Miami Beach on Saturday, October 11, 2014. The black tie evening featured a glittering champagne reception, a sit-down dinner, an enormous silent auction with exciting one-of-a-kind items, a scintillating awards ceremony program hosted by national TV personalities Lea Black and Elaine Lancaster, and live entertainment.

The dinner also presented transgender community activist and former Navy SEAL Kristin Beck with 2014 National Leadership Award. “I am honored and truly humbled to receive the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s National Leadership Award,” said Kristin Beck. “The Task Force, as the nation’s oldest and longest running LGBT advocacy organization, has always been at the forefront of the movement for justice, fairness, and equality for all. ”

Also being honored was James G. Pepper, affectionately called the “Godfather of Philanthropy,” a longtime LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS advocate, community leader and philanthropist, who received the 2014 Eddy McIntyre Community Service Award. Pepper’s long list of achievements includes inspiring young people to become outspoken community advocates and nurturing activists to step into leadership positions. He served as mentor to both of this year’s event co-chairs, Bradley R. Carlson and Josue Santiago.

Photos by: Melissa Donaldson