On Tuesday, September 27th, more than 250 locals and members of the LGBT community gathered at Gulfstream Parkfor The Taste of Equality to support Equality Florida and #Forthe49 Equality Forward Initiative. The event raised more than $10,000 through ticket sales and raffle prizes and 100 percent of the proceeds were donated to Equality Florida and #ForThe49.
Gulfstream Park and Equality Florida, an organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community, teamed up to host this exciting tasting tour, which included stops at 15 venues throughout the open-air entertainment complex. Attendees had the opportunity to sip and savor a variety of samples donated by restaurants and retailers including III Forks, Adena Grill & Wine Bar, Brio Tuscan Grille, Cantina Laredo, Frankey’s Sports Bar, Häagen Dazs, Il Gusto Ristorante Italiano, La Pizzeria by Strike 10, Le Macaron, Mijana Lebanese Cuisine, ROK:BRGR Burger Bar + Gastropub, Sirona Fine Art, Williams-Sonoma and Yard House. Guests also enjoyed a lively belly-dancing show at Mijana and an after-party at Strike 10 Bowling and Lounge, complete with music, drinks, raffle prizes and a slow motion photo booth. Raffle prizes included gift baskets donated from Crate & Barrel, The Container Store, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Williams-Sonoma and Z Gallerie.
During the event, Row Iliescu, South Florida Development Director and Cindy Brown, Miami-Dade Development Officer for Equality Florida thanked guests for attending and explained the importance of having an event like this. The event served as an opportunity to raise awareness and educate attendees about Equality Florida’s efforts to bring about LGBT equality in Florida and honor those affected by the massacre at Pulse Nightclub. Through #ForThe49 Equality Forward Initiative, Equality Florida hopes to ensure that the lasting memorial to this tragedy is real and brings meaningful change. The initiative will work to rid our culture of the toxic dehumanization of LGBTQ people and instead, build a country that welcomes, protects and embraces diversity.
Inspired by the work of Equality Florida in the aftermath of the Pulse Nightclub tragedy, GoFundMe announced they will match up to $100,000 in contributions to the new Equality Florida campaign. Those who could not attend the event, but wish to support the charity can make their contribution online via GoFundMe at: www.gofundme.com/forthe49.