Matti Bauer, guest, Steve Haas, Wendy Kallergis, Charles Castro, guest (Photo: Dale Stine)

It’s not topaz. It’s not Emerald. Ruby is the theme at this year’s Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce 17 Annual Gala and Awards Celebration. The event will boast a pioneer, a curator, some pop-ups a fantastic silent auction, and a moonlight Soiree. It will also feature some awards, as “The Ruby Gala” will once again honor corporate and individual supporters of the Miami-Dade LGBTQ community. To catch all the fun and excitement, guests are encouraged to get their tickets before they surely sell out. The Ruby Gala will take place Saturday, May 19, at the Hilton Miami Downtown, 1601 Biscayne Boulevard, and will once again be presented by Wells Fargo. 

When asked about the fabulous honorees, Steve Atkins, President/CEO of the MDGLCC, said:

“Once again, MDGLCC has four incredible award recipients to honor at the Ruby Gala on May 19th!  Each one represents, in their unique way, the finest qualities in service to community, commitment to diversity and, a selflessness that we look for in our honorees.  For Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and, YES Institute, the awards recognize years of supporting the LGBT Community through outreach and/or training & development. For Vicki Brail and Roger Thomson, their recognition is for a lifetime of dedication and philanthropy to the LGBT community.”

This Year’s Award Recipients

AT&T Business of the Year Award

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood 

Regions Business Person of the Year Award

Vicki Brail

AIDS Healthcare Foundation Non-Profit Organization of the Year Award

YES Institute

 Morgan Stanley Bob Balsam Civic Achievement Award

Roger Thomson

Steve went on to say: “The Chamber’s annual gala celebration is one of our most popular and definitely our best-attended event of the year. We anticipate a sell-out crowd of 500 guests who will mix, mingle, party and pass out stacks of business cards, all while honoring community leaders who have contributed to the enhancement of the South Florida LGBTQ community.” 

The Pioneer alluded to is the Pioneer Winter Collective which will be the featured entertainment at the gala. Pioneer Winter is a Miami-based choreographer and director of the Pioneer Winter Collective— invested in physical theater, contemporary dance, interdisciplinary collaboration, and transmedia. His Collective provides a platform for risk-taking, progressive, and experimental projects by democratizing performance through unexpected bodies, unexpected places, and unexpected social change.  Described as avant-garde, experimental, raw and fearless, the Collective blurs the boundaries between physical theatre and contemporary dance. The Pioneer Winter Collective creates experiences that are provoking, progressive, and risk-taking: unexpected bodies in unexpected places, producing unexpected social change – powerful stories and voices.   

The premium silent auction items will encompass a wide range in categories — arts & culture, food and dining, health and wellness, leisure, retail, sports, and travel & lodging. For the perfect Staycation guests will be able to bid on a two-night stay at the fabulous Marriott Stanton South Beach and complement it with a one-day rental of a luxury car and tickets to a show at the Adrienne Arsht Center. 

The Gala’s moonlight is the Moonlight Networking Soiree, which takes place after the awards ceremony. The Moonlight Networking Soiree rounds out the evening and allows guests to continue making connections while enjoying the open bar by Bacardi, featuring Grey Goose Vodka. 

The 17th Annual Gala starts at 6 pm with a reception, silent auction, and interactive pop-up displays, which will be followed by a grand buffet, the awards presentation and Moonlight Networking.

According to Jorge Richa, Marketing and Program Director, “The Ruby Gala has been designed in such a way that guests will have ample opportunities to engage, connect, and network with each other while enjoying the cocktail reception, silent auction, interactive pop-ups, grand buffet, awards ceremony, and moonlight networker.”

Tickets to The Ruby Gala are all VIP again this year, Adkins said. Tickets are $2,000 for tables of 10, or $200 for individual tickets, and include reserved seating, the grand buffet, an open bar, a VIP gift bag (my favorite), and participation in the drawing. Reservations are available online at gaybizgala.com, or by calling 305- 673-4440.