2011 Dorothy Awards Celebrate the Best of Our CommunityPublished Mar 6, 2011
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The New Haven Pride Center’s 2011 Dorothy Awards event took place on Saturday, March 5, at Fantasia in North Haven and celebrated the best and most distinguished members of the local LGBT community. Honorees and all those in attendance were treated to dinner, dancing, entertainment and a silent auction, and the event raised much-needed funds for the New Haven Pride Center (NHPC), which is now in its 15th year of offering support and programs for the local community.
In addition to their prestigious Dorothy Awards, honorees were also presented with citations sent and signed by Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman in recognition of their contributions to the local community.
“This year’s event was one of our biggest ever. A near-record 250 attendees filled the room with so much energy; the room literally sparkled,” said Kathryn Thomas, Dorothy co-chair and NHPC board member. “We are so grateful to everyone who made the choice to attend our event.”
Sponsors of this year’s event included The Imperial Sovereign Court of All Connecticut, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, Metroline magazine, Miya’s Sushi, The New Haven Advocate and Yale University. The Awards themselves honor members of the local community for their significant contributions to LGBT life.
This year’s honorees, as determined by an open, public nomination process and final approval by the NHPC Dorothy Committee, are: the Rev. Marilyn Bowens, pastor of MCC New Haven; Tony Ferraiolo, co-founder and president of the Jim Collins Foundation; Robb Bartolomeo, owner of Gotham Citi and founding member of New Haven’s annual Pride festival; and the Northeast Ursamen, a Hartford-based non-profit organization.
The NHPC also bestowed a Lifetime Achievement Award to David Knapp, a longtime friend and activist, who has been leading the struggle against the Boy Scouts of America’s position on homosexuality. David Knapp’s life is recorded in Yale University Library’s Manuscripts and Archives collection.
In addition, the NHPC paid tribute to Knapp in another way by announcing that its recently-established Scholarship Fund would be named after him. The David Knapp Scholarship Fund is now accepting applications; information about the scholarship can be found here.
Host Frank DeMayo pulled double-duty once again, offering entertainment for the crowd, in addition to covering hosting duties. The Imperial Sovereign Court of All Connecticut also delighted the crowd with a few special performances, including a knockout performance from reigning Empress, Chanel Couture. Deborah Wang and Fullsound Productions served as “house band” for the event, and had the crowd on its feet - dancing - for a good portion of the night.
Former NHPC board member Simon Rich, and current board member (and past co-President), Dorian Harding-Morick were honored with “Volunteer of the Year” awards, to thank them for their years of service and dedication to the Center and to the LGBT community. Kathryn Thomas, along with her husband, Dennis Titley presented Rich and Harding-Morick with their awards.
NHPC co-President Thomas Donato was encouraged by the turnout: “We have been building this event steadily each year. One of the most exciting things to see last night was the significant youth presence. Today’s youth can learn so much from the LGBT folks who paved the way, and we are always happy when we can help to provide that bridge across generations.”
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The Dorothy Awards were a magical night!!! All I need now please is someone to send me a link to the photographs! Thanks for everything!!! Can't wait to next year.... Frankie