DETROIT – Between The Lines celebrated 25 years of continuous publication at a gala party June 8. Over 250 people attended – advertisers, writers, current and former staff members, graphic artists, ad sales representatives, consultants, supporters and more. The event was in the magnificent Pewabic House & Garden Show venue, a huge outdoor tented area created for Pewabic’s annual Maker/Mentor exhibition featuring works by over 80 ceramic artists. Guest mingled, sipped cocktails, munched on delicious hors d’oeuvres and desserts and shopped for exquisite Pewabic tiles and pottery on display.
The program started with presentations of BTL Legacy Awards to 13 local businesses who have consistently advertised in BTL since the early days of the paper to the present day. “It is not hyperbole to say that BTL could not exist without the strong, consistent support of our advertisers,” said co-publisher Jan Stevenson. “We thank you for your advertising support – and we’re ready to sign you up for another 25 years!” she joked.
Legacy award winner Keith Orr from Aut Bar in Ann Arbor said, “A free press is so important – especially in the times we are in now. But – a free press is not free. There are bills to pay and we have to support it, which is why we are glad to support BTL with our ads.”
Gerry Banister from RE/MAX Real estate described BTL as an important institution in the LGBTQ community.
“You have no idea how important BTL has been to so many people – you have made a huge difference in so many lives,” he said.
Co-publishers Stevenson and Susan Horowitz then thanked the dozens of people who have contributed to BTL’s success.
“We started to create a sign with everyone’s name who has contributed to BTL over the past quarter century. It came to over 300 people and we got totally overwhelmed! So we gave up on the sign and instead we thank everyone en masse,” said Stevenson. “Each of you have contributed to the success of the paper – and for many it represents just one small part of your total contributions to the LGBTQ community as a whole – thank you!”
Then Stevenson and Horowitz made a special announcement.
“However, there is one person we feel the need to single out for his extraordinary commitment, and contribution to BTL – since the very beginning of the paper in 1993. That’s why we are pleased and honored to present this Lifetime Achievement Award to our dear friend, writer, artist, supporter, champion and hero – Charles Alexander.”
The award recognized Alexander for his well-written stories and spectacular artwork. “Between The Lines is lucky and grateful that you have contributed so much to the life of the paper, and the entire LGBTQ community is much the better as a result of your immense contributions of time and talent,” read the award.
The final presentations were of the 2018 AdPop Awards for Excellence in Advertising to the LGBTQ community. The National LGBTQ Media Association, sponsor of the third annual AdPop award, selected nine of BTL’s advertisers to receive this prestigious award. The ads were chosen based on their artistic design, positive portrayal of LGBTQ people and strong messaging to and for the LGBTQ community.
BTL Legacy Award Winners:
Ameritax Plus, Berkley
Alan Semonian, CPA
The Ark, Ann Arbor
aut Bar and Common Language Bookstore
Braun Court, Ann Arbor
Keith Orr and Martin Contreras
Gerry Banister, Birmingham
RE/MAX SE Michigan
Dr. Paul Benson
Be Well Medical Center, Berkley
Hodges Subaru, Ferndale
Holiday Market, Royal Oak
Joe Kort, Ph.D. and Associates
The Center for Relationship and Sexual Health, Royal Oak
Lynn Stange, Troy, Real Estate One
Triangle Chiropractic, Grosse Pointe
Dr. John Tsakos
Trillium Real Estate, Ann Arbor
Linda Lombardini & Sandi Smith
Ron. T. Williamson DDS, Berkley
2018 AdPop Award Winners:
Hagopian World of Rugs
Michigan State University Federal Credit Union
Michigan Department of Health & Human Services
Brogan & Partners, Advertising Agency
University Musical Society
No Safety Net Theater Series 2017
MotorCity Casino Hotel
Campbell Ewald, Advertising Agency
Diamond Castle Jewelers
Broadway In Detroit
The Fisher Theatre
SMZ Advertising, Agency