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2010 Dorothy Awards Filled with Surprises

Published Mar 2, 2010

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Blumenthal, Wyman at Dorothy Awards
L to R in photo: Honoree Dena Castricone [CABO], Wyman, Blumenthal, Honoree Mark Campbell [Imperial Sovereign Court], Honoree Michael Morand [Yale], Honoree Leif Mitchell [GLSEN]

The New Haven Pride Center’s Seventh Annual Dorothy Awards ceremony was held on Saturday, February 27, 2010 at Fantasia in North Haven, and it was filled with surprises, including appearances by Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and State Comptroller Nancy Wyman. Sponsored by Day Pitney LLP, Yale University, Metroline Magazine, the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven, Yale-New Haven Hospital, the United Illuminating Company, and Miya’s Sushi, the event was almost at capacity with 220 guests and featured a special presentation of official citations from the state of Connecticut by Wyman to the evening’s honorees in recognition of their service to the state of Connecticut.

The New Haven Pride Center’s Dorothy Awards honor members of the LGBT community who have made a significant contribution to local LGBT life. This year, honorees included: Dena Castricone, founder and president of CABO, the state’s LGBT chamber of commerce; Leif Mitchell, co-chair of GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) Connecticut and a member of GLSEN’s National Advisory Council and National Training Team; Michael Morand, Associate Vice President of Yale University for New Haven and State Affairs; and the Imperial Sovereign Court of All Connecticut, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that raises tens of thousands of dollars annually for other state organizations.

The event was hosted by Frank DeMayo (who changed costumes more times than an Oscars host) and performed versions of popular songs that he “made his own” for the evening. Attendees were also treated to two other special performances: an energetic performance by members of the Imperial Sovereign Court and a hilarious duet from DeMayo and Dorothy co-chair, Simon Rich, who regaled the crowd with "Bosom Buddies".

2010 Dorothy Awards Honorees & Special Guests
From left to right: Dorothy guest, Leif Mitchell (GLSEN), NHPC Co-President Dorian Harding-Morick, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, NHPC Co-President Thomas Donato

In addition to the entertainment and the inspirational speeches by the honorees, guests were treated to another surprise: Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal thanked the honorees for their service to the community and emphasized the importance of the Pride Center to Connecticut. Blumenthal and Wyman were not the only politicians showing their support: State Representative Patricia Dillon, of New Haven's 92nd Assembly District was also in attendance. New Haven Pride Center Co-President Thomas Donato said, “We are extremely grateful for the support and commitment that Nancy Wyman, Richard Blumenthal and Patricia Dillon demonstrated to our organization. We are thrilled that they were able to join us at the Dorothy Awards and join us in honoring our distinguished award winners.”

The four Dorothy Award recipients were not the only winners of the evening. Andrew Rubenoff, who as a volunteer, has designed the event since its inception in 2003, was recognized for his contributions, as was host Frank DeMayo, one of the founders of the event who has played an integral role in all seven award ceremonies . And significantly, transgender activist Bryce McKinzie was honored with the Center’s “Rising Star” award as a young leader who has already made a huge impact with his work in the community.

“The event was the most well-attended and well-received Dorothy Awards in years,” commented New Haven Pride Center Co-President Dorian Harding-Morick, “and the energy in the room was palpable. We feel this is a sign of things to come and are very pleased so many people came out to celebrate the Center and the ‘movers and shakers’ who keep it strong and vibrant.”

The money raised at the Dorothy Awards this year will go to increasing the level and quality of programming in 2010, including building the roster of events at the Center as well as bringing speakers and entertainers to the community. With the Seventh Annual Dorothy Awards, the Center also initiated a scholarship fund. At next year’s ceremony, a deserving college student will be awarded money to help with studies that contribute to the life of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and/or our straight allies in New Haven and Connecticut. Contributions toward this fund and to the New Haven Pride Center are welcome at any time.

Stay tuned to this site for pictures from the event soon!

If you would like to contribute to the New Haven Pride Center, please click here, or contact us at

Tags: Dorothy

Thomas Donato lives in Hamden and is the co-President of the New Haven Pride Center.

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