As you stepped into the main room of the Hagen Park Community Center, you were overtaken by the mouthwatering smell of Italian food and the loud buzz of people talking. The party on Sept. 18 was the brainchild of local activist and realtor Jimmy Cunningham.
The gracious host was impossible to miss as he worked the room, greeting guests in his sparkly blue blazer.
“I was very pleased at the turnout, with well over 300 people coming through the doors. Considering there was another popular event the same evening at Hunters, An Evening With Tony Award Winner Gavin Creel, I think we did very well getting a nice audience to attend and enjoy my event.”
Cunningham created the event several years ago as a thank-you party for his RE/MAX clients. In recent years it evolved into a community event, bringing residents and nonprofits together for an evening of food, fun, and networking.
“I am so very grateful to have the ability to bring the community together for a nice, enjoyable evening. People only have to hear me speak for about 10 minutes! And, of course, tolerate my blinding blinky blazers!”
Headlining the night was South Florida fave, Miss Bouvèé.
“Jimmy is an amazing friend and community member and pillar in our city.”
When she wasn’t performing, DJ Ronnie Minutello kept the vibe up.
Community was the theme of the night, as everyone from local business owners and politicians came out and mingled with neighbors and nonprofit organizations. Cunningham invited local agencies, including Broward House, Island City Stage, and the Symphony, to set up tables and network.
One of those groups was the Pet Project, which works to keep pets and their humans together during difficult circumstances.
Executive Director Sue Martino says, “It’s a wonderful opportunity to get our name out. Even after 20 years, there are still people who don’t know who we are or what we do.”
In the end, Miss Bouvèé summed up the night best.
“We take for granted what we have here. We have such a great queer community and Jimmy is helping harness that and foster our connectivity.”