The Very Best of NYC Special Events

Women’s Initiative Committee Awards Ceremony and Networking Event, SAGE Women’s Spring Fever Dance, AIDS Walk, 2012 Walk on the Wild Side, International Family Equality Day,, Night at the Pier, National Liberty Awards, New York Liberty, 26th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition, Respect Awards, SAGE Women’s Pride in the Pines, “We Are the American Family” 2012 National Gala

The Hetrick Martin Institute presents its inaugural Women’s Initiative Committee Awards Ceremony and Networking Event at the HBO Screening Room May 9. Comedienne Judy Gold will host this exciting evening, which honors female leaders from diverse fields who are also members or strong allies of the LGBT community. The ultimate goal: Build a community of support of women through networking and peer recognition. Honorees include Nekisa Cooper, Pariah producer; Adepero Oduye, Pariah actress; and New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn.

Don’t miss the SAGE Women’s Spring Fever Dance at LQ on Apr 29. The SAGE dances always offer the best music to appeal to women of all ages and backgrounds. DJ Nancy B returns with the dance beats and a selection of the best in hip-wigglin’ tunes from the past and present. All proceeds support SAGE’s services to the elderly LGBT community.

More than 45,000 walkers will gather in Central Park on May 20 to embark on the 10K AIDS Walk. The East Coast’s first (and the world’s largest) AIDS fundraising event raises vital funds for Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) and dozens of local AIDS service organizations in the tri-state area. This year’s event keeps the public engaged through community-driven outreach, a strong social media presence and a compelling street campaign. Celebrities confirmed to attend this year’s event include Tony Award-winning actress Audra McDonald, Emmy Award winner David Hyde Pierce and actress Dot-Marie Jones from Glee.

Join Callen-Lorde Community Health Center for the 2012 Walk on the Wild Side, its annual family-friendly event at the Central Park Zoo on Jun 4. Enjoy an informal evening of cocktails, food and fun alongside human friends, polar bears, red pandas, monkeys, penguins and sea lions. Proceeds benefit the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, NYC’s only health facility dedicated to the LGBT community.

The Family Equality Council will present a year-long series of national community events to honor the Council’s 30th anniversary and unveil a renewed commitment to create a better world for LGBT families. The series continues on May 6 with International Family Equality Day, a celebration of the global LGBT family. As part of this milestone day, Family Equality Council is inviting families to gather with them in the TKTS booth in New York’s Times Square for the first-ever international LGBT family photograph. The celebration continues with a family luncheon and tea dance. Space is limited, so reservations are strongly recommended. On May 8, join Family Equality at Pier Sixty for Night at the Pier. The evening brings together LGBT parents, allies and honored guests to celebrate the progress they have made as a community of loving families towards full equality. Guests will enjoy an elegant evening of cocktails, live music, silent auctions and mingling over a seated dinner.

Join Lambda Legal for its flagship event, the National Liberty Awards, at Pier Sixty on May 7. This annual event honors notable leaders who have made an impact in the lives of LGBT and HIV-affected Americans. Enjoy a cocktail reception followed by dinner and award ceremony; then dance the night away at the afterparty. This year’s honoree is American Airlines for its long history of leadership in advancing equal rights for LGBT employees.

The ladies of the New York Liberty tip off their 2012 season with a back-to-back campaign against the Connecticut Sun. The Liberty will host the front end of the team’s matchup on May 19 at the Prudential Center and then head to Mohegan Sun on May 20. New York’s schedule will feature 17 home games that include hosting Maya Moore and the defending WNBA Champion Minnesota Lynx on May 22; the defending Eastern Conference Champions Atlanta Dream on Jun 5 and Jun 24; and the Seattle Storm on Jun 30.

The 26th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition returns to Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre Apr 23-24. The bash features a parade of bonnets hand-crafted by the casts and crews of dozens of participating Broadway productions. This annual spring event is the culmination of an intensive six-week fundraising effort by the companies of Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring productions. Last year 52 shows participated in the fundraising efforts, collecting $3.7 million for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) invites you to the ninth annual Respect Awards at Gotham Hall May 21. The Respect Awards, held yearly in Los Angeles and New York, recognize individuals and corporate leaders who have helped propel GLSEN’s efforts to ensure safe schools for all of America’s students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. This year’s honorees include the CEO of America’s Promise Alliance, Marguerite Kondracke; and the National Basketball Association.

Dress is classic white for the SAGE Women’s Pride in the Pines, a women’s dance and dinner at Whyte Hall, Fire Island Pines on Jun 9. Just in time to kick off Pride month, this annual fundraiser features innovative music by the amazing DJ Stacy followed by a private major donor dinner with music by song stylist Joi Cardwell. Proceeds support SAGE’s services to the elderly LGBT community.

On May 2, join Marriage Equality USA for its “We Are the American Family” 2012 National Gala celebrating the diversity within LGBT families and supporting Marriage Equality’s continued work to preserve, expand and protect equality nationwide. The gala will be held at the 404 NYC event space and commences with a VIP red-carpet cocktail hour featuring entertainment, delicious food, open bar, silent auction, and the opportunity to socialize with special guests. This year’s fabulous honorees include Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, NBC and MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts and his partner Patrick Abner, and B’nai Jeshurun Marriage Equality Campaign Group.

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