September 29, 2011 | by Juliette Ebner
‘Tis the season

Pink, left, and Bette Midler at last year's HRC dinner. (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

This week’s social and political scene is busy with three events coming up honoring a diverse group of people.

The D.C. Center is having its annual fall reception tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Sofitel (806 15th St., N.W.). The reception will serve to reflect on the Center’s work over the past year as well as honor those who have made outstanding contributions to the LGBT community. This year’s honorees are Rick Rosendall, Sheila Alexander-Reid, Frank Kameny and Earline Budd.

“This is a larger event than we’ve done in the past,” said David Mariner, the Center’s director. “It’s the first time we’ve done the event in a hotel …we’re going as an organization and that makes sense.”

Mariner thinks the event will be even bigger next year, as it will be the Center’s 10th anniversary. Tickets are $75 for individuals, $200 for host committee and $45 for students and seniors. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit thedccenter.org.

HRC holds its 15th annual national dinner at the Washington Convention Center on Saturday night.

President Barack Obama will make his second appearance as president at the Human Rights Campaign dinner, and will deliver the keynote address. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be presented with the National Ally for Equality Award for his advocacy on marriage equality in New York State.

“This has been a remarkable year in the fight for LGBT equality,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “We’re thrilled to be joined by national leaders and inspiring artists as we celebrate our victories and redouble our efforts for the fights that remain ahead.”

Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), who is running for the U.S. Senate, will also be a featured speaker.

Entertainment will be provided by Cyndi Lauper and Greyson Chance, who is the first artist to be signed to Ellen DeGeneres’ record label, eleveneleven. Pop singer Mika will also give a full concert for the event’s after-party. For more information, visit hrcnationaldinner.org.

And the Victory Fund’s 11th annual Gay and Lesbian Leadership Awards are Wednesday at 101 Constitution Rooftop (101 Constitution Ave., N.W.). This year’s honorees are Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who was at the center of the fight to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), vice-chair of the House LGBT Equality Caucus.

“Just as we need more openly LGBT members of Congress who can speak authentically about their lives, we also need more straight allies who see the value in removing barriers for LGBT Americans,” said Denis Dison, vice president of communications. ”Lawmakers like Sen. Collins and Congressman Ellison deserve to be recognized for standing up and speaking out for a freer and fairer country.”

The event begins with a VIP reception starting at 6 p.m. and the program beginning at 6:30 p.m. Individual tickets are $150 and can be purchased online at victoryfund.org.

 

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