There was dancing, there was eating, and, of course, there was singing. The Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida (GMCSF) hit a high note with its first gala. The event, called Chic & Unique, hosted a crowd of chorus members and fellow music lovers.
The night started with a VIP reception, emceed by Alex Miranda from WSVN and Gabe Salazar, GMCSF’s Artistic Director, performing.
“It’s amazing to see all the people come together and all the hard work and have just an amazing time,” Salazar said.
The party then moved to the Westin on Fort Lauderdale Beach for a party that, appropriately, put music front and center. Vibe City Entertainment provided pre-dinner jams while guests danced and perused silent auction items.
The party, like their shows, was an instant hit.
"Outstanding,” Davie Mayor Judy Paul gushed. “It rivaled any that I have ever attended. Here's to next year! GMCSF has set the bar!"
Guests were in a giving mood. In addition to buying tickets and the silent auction, a live fundraiser smashed through its first goal of $20,000 and its second goal of $30,000. The chorus says, after expenses, the night raised about $92,000.
In addition to the event’s success, rave reviews mean the event will likely become a staple on South Florida’s social calendar.
"The GMCSF's Chic & Unique Ball was an impressive evening of food, fun, and music. The community needs to see their local arts organizations as a worthwhile investment for their charitable giving,” Philip Dunlap, Director of Broward County Cultural Division, said.
The night also saw community members honored. Harvey Shapiro and Michael Dager received the Douglas Jackson Pew Community Leadership Award to commemorate Doug's legacy this year for their work with the chorus and the LGBTQ community.
They also honored the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino which has supported the chorus and hosted shows. They were also a sponsor of the gala and provided very cool guitar centerpieces which guests could purchase.
The Corporate Crescendo Award was presented to The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort.
Edward Otto Zielke, Director of Marketing & Sponsorship for GMCSF, said these supporters deserve recognition for their contributions to the arts.
“These awards are presented at our annual gala fundraiser to individual donors, foundation supporters, and corporate partners who are recognized as mission champions for the Chorus, strengthening our communities and advancing us toward achieving our vision of a diverse world united.”