Actress Dot-Marie Jones, who portrays a high school football coach in the popular TV series “Glee,” was to be a featured speaker at the statewide LGBT group Equality Virginia’s 9th Annual Dinner in Richmond on April 14.
Joining Jones as a featured guest and speaker was David McFarland, interim executive director and CEO of the Trevor Project, a national group that organizes programs to curtail LGBT teen suicide.
“The Annual Commonwealth Dinner is Equality Virginia’s signature event and Virginia’s largest black-tie gala gathering for the Commonwealth’s GLBT community and their supporters,” according to a statement on the group’s website.
In addition to live entertainment and a silent auction, the dinner will include the presentation of Equality Virginia’s annual “OUTstanding Virginians” award to five people in recognition of their “courage and dedication to equality” for the LGBT community.
The five are Nicholas Benton, editor and publisher of the Falls Church, Va., News-Press and a longtime advocate for LGBT rights causes; Sally Baird, a member of the Arlington, Va., school board since 2006 and the state’s first out lesbian elected to public office; Hugh Copeland, founder of the Norfolk-based theater company The Hurrah Players and a highly acclaimed teacher of theater; Jean Elliott, communications manager at Virginia Tech’s College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and a recognized advocate for LGBT equality; and Edward Strickler, a Charlottesville-based public health advocate who has worked to fight AIDS through programs supportive of the LGBT community.