Sparkle 17th Annual Miami Recognition Dinner :: Honoring Joe Falk and George Takei
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, currently celebrating its 40th anniversary, is proud to host the 17th annual Miami Recognition Dinner at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach on Saturday, November 9. The annual fundraising event honors individuals for their outstanding contributions to the social, cultural, political and humanitarian needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. This year's honorees include local activist and civic leader Joseph L. Falk and famed actor, author and social justice activist George Takei.
Falk will receive the 2013 Eddy McIntyre Community Service Award. He serves as the board secretary of the National Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and tirelessly supports the organization's mission to increase the number of LGBT elected and appointed officials. He is the immediate past chairman of the board of SAVE Dade and was the national co-chair of the Obama for America LGBT Leadership Council.
Takei will receive the 2013 National Leadership Award. He has appeared in more than 40 feature films and hundreds of television guest-starring roles. He is best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise in the "Star Trek" franchise. An outspoken advocate for civil rights, Takei has used his unmistakable baritone in several satiric PSAs, including one in response to Tennessee's infamous "Don't Say Gay" bill that encourages viewers to say, "It's OK to be Takei."
"I am deeply honored to be recognized by this wonderful organization that has been fighting for LGBT equality for the past four decades," said George Takei. "It is a privilege to be part of an event like the 17th Annual Miami Recognition Dinner that raises money for multiple organizations serving our community."
The Miami Recognition Dinner will treat guests to an intimate cocktail reception followed by an exquisite sit-down dinner, awards ceremony and dancing. Attendees will also have the opportunity to bid on a variety of fabulous silent auction items.
This year the Task force has secured entertainer Kristine W to bring Message of Unity to Miami where she will perform her new hit, "So Close To Me."
Like most of Kristine W's songs, "So Close To Me" can be interpreted in a several ways. It can be about romantic love, familial love, or even love shared between co-workers.
It's the reason she chose to include her dancers in the song's music video. "I have been working with the same dancers for years," she says. "While on the road, we are each other's support system. We share our ideas and act as sounding boards for one another. I love them all like family and I hope the video emphasizes our unique bond."
Her favorite scene in the video is when she and the dancers coax the owner of the liquor store to dance with them. "It was totally unscripted," she reveals. "Another example of how real moments shine like no other."
Kristine W hopes "So Close To Me" will empower fans to turn off their devices and spend quality, face-to-face time with loved ones. "Great things, both creatively and emotionally, happen when people come together in-person. Plan a lunch with someone you love," she advises. "Hash out ideas and talk about life."
It was a pleasure to sit down with Kristine right before her performance in Miami for an exclusive interview:
Your very first #1 was "Feel What You Want."
I am very proud of "Feel What You Want." I knew it would empower and liberate people. However, I didn't think people would embrace it and take the time to analyze the lyrics because they are political, environmental and even more relevant today than when the song first came out.
That was almost twenty years ago!
I know! Isn't it funny how fast time flies when you're having fun?
What's the message of your new song, "So Close To Me"?
In this age of gadgets that are manufactured to keep people in constant contact, many people I know and observe seem lonely. I find iPhones and social media are helpful for business and logistics but people need to have face time for relationships to thrive. A look, a touch... you can't replace the power of human contact. That's what the song is about.
Are you careful to keep loved ones close?
My family is and has always been a source of strength. I work on all of my life relationships -- my friends, my fans, but especially my kids. There are no do- overs or remixes when it comes to them. As a parent, I have to do the best job I can and be present and mentor them with all the energy I have. My kids are the kids who will stand up in class and announce they have fifteen gay uncles and a lesbian godmother. They are very protective of the gay community, which is so very important to me because I expect them to carry the torch!
Is that why you choose to perform at organizations like the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force?
Yes! The Task Force Is focused on LGBT youth. Change starts with the youth.
What are your thoughts on Russia's anti-gay legislation?
Change takes time and education. We all need to do our part.
Does touring so much get lonely?
The road has never been lonely to me. It's an adventure and I try to meet as many people as I can.
We can't wait to see you in Miami!
I am so happy to be coming back in Miami for this amazing event and we are gonna rock it. Love you!
At last year's dinner, more than 35 sponsors and approximately 800 guests contributed to the record-breaking event. In total, the dinner event grossed well over $500,000 -- making it the most successful Miami Recognition Dinner in Task Force history.
Over the years -- through the Dinner and its sister event, the Winter Party Festival -- the Task Force has contributed approximately $1.65 million to South Florida grassroots LGBT organizations through the Miami Foundation GLBT Community Projects Fund.
Tickets to the 17th annual Miami Recognition Dinner are $250 for general admission and $350 for VIP admission which includes a private cocktail reception and meet & greet prior to the dinner. Tickets are available online at MiamiRecognitionDinner.org and by phone at 305.571.1924. Become a fan of the Miami Recognition Dinner on Facebook by visiting Facebook.com/MiamiDinner and follow on Twitter and Instagram at @SparkleMRD