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Triangle Foundation’s State Dinner Event
5 p.m. Sept. 29
Ford Conference & Event Center, Dearborn
Triangle Foundation will honor several of the LGBT community’s heroes at its annual dinner, set for 5 p.m. on Sept. 29 at the Ford Conference & Event Center in Dearborn.
“Triangle’s State Dinner is a chance for us to come together to honor the best of the best of us; people who have worked hard, in their own ways and their own spheres, to further Triangle’s mission of equality,” said Dawn Wolfe, director of communications for Triangle. “The dinner allows us to see the true strength we have in numbers and to celebrate that strength, courage and commitment.
“And, of course, the event is an opportunity to dress in our best, meet old and new friends, and have a great time.”
The State Dinner, Wolfe said, is the only Triangle event where proceeds go entirely to fund policy work and their Department of Victim Services.
Rev. Barry W. Lynn will be the evening’s keynote speaker because “he understands that the intrusion of fundamentalist religion into America’s politics is a threat not only to the LGBT community, but to democracy itself,” she noted.
“Triangle Foundation has always understood that the biggest threat to our LGBT community’s equality – religious extremism in the political sphere – is a threat to the entire country, as well. So of course, Rev. Lynn was a perfect choice to come address us at our dinner, and we’re honored that he chose to accept our invitation to speak.”
The Catalyst Awardees were selected for furthering Triangle’s equality mission, Wolfe said. The honorees include:
Pride at Work, a constituency group of the AFL-CIO which works to mobilize mutual support between organized labor and the LGBT community. “Pride at Work has taken the lead on fighting for equal health care and other benefits for the families of LGBT workers,” Wolfe said.
MI State Rep. Lorence Wenke (R-Richland), who stands up for fairness in a hostile environment. “Lorence Wenke stands against the Republican extremist tide on behalf of equality for all people – not just folks who are popular with religious extremists.”
YWCA Out & Affirmation Center, an organization truly welcoming our community in Berrien County against strong odds. “Finally, the YWCA Out & Affirmation Center has been a bastion of – well – affirmation in an area of the state which sorely needs that. Besides, did you see their float last summer? It was fabulous!” she said.
Jim Toy, an icon and founder of the LGBT movement in Michigan, and Robert Van Kirk, who as president of the LGBT Community Coalition of Michigan coordinated the first-ever statewide prom for LGBT youth. “I could write an entire book on Jim Toy’s contributions to our community,” Wolfe said, “and Robert Van Kirk has not only worked tirelessly to bring our community together and make us more visible, but he is living proof of Triangle’s belief that our young people are today’s leaders, not just tomorrow’s leaders.”
Triangle’s State Dinner Event will begin with a cocktail reception and silent auction at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets are $150. For more information, visit www.tri.org.