Lea DeLaria Performs at Mazzoni Center’s "Elixir" Event

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Friday May 16, 2014

On May 17, Philadelphia's LGBT community will gather at the Wells Fargo Bank and Museum in Center City for the Mazzoni Center's "Elixir" event, their annual celebration and fundraiser. This festive and fabulous night out helps support their continuum of health and wellness services for the LGBT and HIV/AIDS communities here in Philadelphia.

This year Mazzoni is especially excited to welcome special guest performer Lea DeLaria, the distinguished actor, jazz musician, and stand-up comic currently featured in the Netflix original series "Orange Is the New Black." DeLaria will deliver her unique mix of stand-up comedy and musical performance, focusing on traditional and modern be-bop jazz.

"We're extremely proud to be honoring this group, whose leadership and achievements are extraordinary," said Mazzoni CEO Nurit Shein. "Besides presenting a fantastic and highly entertaining event, we are looking to raise visibility of the contributions of LGBT individuals throughout society."

In keeping with this year's theme of "OUT is the New IN," the Mazzoni Center will recognize four distinguished individuals at the event whose achievements across a range of professions and commitment to being open about who they are have made an impact with in the LGBT communities and beyond, including two much-admired local figures.

They include State Representative Brian K. Sims of Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives, 182nd Legislative District, a distinguished policy attorney and civil rights advocate who made national headlines when he became the first openly gay person elected to legislative office in Pennsylvania history in 2012.

Also to be honored is AIDS Fund Executive Director Robb Reichard of Philadelphia’s AIDS Fund, which is the largest private funder of AIDS services in Delaware Valley, and produces the popular monthly fundraiser GayBINGO, as well as the annual AIDS Walk Philly, which is now in its 28th year.

Additional honorees include Anita Radix, MD, Senior Director of Research and Education at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center in New York City, which has a 40-year history of providing health care and related services for LGBT individuals; and Margaret Stumpp, PhD, Senior Advisor for Quantitative Management Associates, LLC, a business of Prudential, Inc. who became the first person to transition on the job at Prudential in 2001, while leading a department that managed $32 billion on behalf of client pension funds and other institutional investors.

"We are thrilled at the opportunity to recognize these four remarkable people, who represent a wide range of professions and interests, but have each worked to advance the visibility, dignity, and well-being of LGBT individuals," said Elixir Co-Chair and Mazzoni Center Board President Kelly Harris. "Their courage in staying true to themselves while following their passions has earned the respect and admiration of peers and colleagues, and inspired countless others."

Master of Ceremonies for the Elixir event will be 13-time Emmy Award-winner Jim Donovan, CBS 3 Eyewitness News Consumer Reporter. Proceeds from the Elixir event support Mazzoni Center’s continuum of health and wellness services, which includes a full array of primary health care services, mental and behavioral health services and LGBT legal services, as well as HIV and STD testing, food bank and housing subsidies for families and individuals affected by HIV, support groups, outreach and education programs.

Guests at this year’s Elixir event will enjoy an open bar, a selection of passed hors d’oeuvres and buffet, plus a silent auction and more. All VIP guests will automatically be entered into a special drawing for an overnight stay at the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia. Tickets for the VIP event are $275, and general admission tickets are $150.

"Elixir" will be held from 5:30-10 p.m. on Saturday, May 17 at the Wells Fargo Bank and Museum, 123 S. Broad St.) in Center City. For information or tickets, call 215-563-0652 x 218 or visit www.mazzonicenter.org

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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