Women’s Event Raises $250K for NYC’s LGBT Center
While Hurricane Sandy certainly put a dent on the New York LGBT Center’s 15th Annual Women’s Event, despite hampering ticket sales, the community eventually rallied. Over 350 people gathered at Three Sixty in Tribeca to raise an impressive $250,000 for Center Women’s Programs.
"We had a hurricane, a critical election and a nor’easter all in the past two weeks," said Center Executive Director Glennda Testone at the event. She went on to thank the two co-chairs, Lisa Linksy and Stephanie Battaglino, Center board members, staff and volunteers who managed to pull the event together. "To have an entire night devoted to honoring women who shine a very bright spotlight on the entire LGBT community is a privilege," Testone added.
Among those honored were MAC Cosmetics’ Nancy Mahon, the players of the WNBA team New York Liberty and two executives from JPMorgan Chase, Cindy Armine and Lori Littell-Pape.
Mahon, senior vice-president at MAC and global executive director of the MAC AIDS Fund, has overseen more than $38 million dispersed annually throughout the world.
Mahon gave a shout-out to one of the Center’s signature programs when she pointed out that she and her partner took parenting classes there. "We can’t take the Center for granted," she told guests.
When she was a young sorority girl questioning her sexual orientation, Center Board Member Aimee Saginaw recalled standing outside the Center for hours while she pondered whether or not she dared to go inside.
"That was 22 years ago," she said. "In the years since, we as a community have come out in droves. We’re beginning to win elections, we’re starring in television shows. There are even some out girls in sororities now, I’ve heard. And we’ve even won the right to marry."
Saginaw then pointed out Edie Windsor, who has become the focus of an epochal legal battle with possible far-reaching repercussions.
Windsor and her partner Thea Clara Spyer were together for 42 years when Spyer died in 2009. Windsor faced an inheritance tax bill that, she said, was $360,000 more than a heterosexual widow would have had to pay. In mid-October, the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that DOMA violated the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause, and that Windsor shouldn’t have to pay an unfair inheritance tax. The matter will eventually go to the Supreme Court.