Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is proud to announce the honorees for this year’s Palm Springs Garden Party Presented by Douglas Elliman Real Estate. The 19th Annual HRC Palm Springs Garden Party will be held November 3, 2018 from 1:30-4:30 p.m. at the residence of HRC Donors Jane and Mark Garrison. Location will be given upon ticket purchase. HRC is the largest national LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) advocacy organization with more than 2 million members throughout the country. The existing patchwork of legal protections for LGBTQ people in the United States leaves millions subject to uncertainty and potential discrimination. The Advocate for Equality Award is given to members of our local community who have demonstrated a history of advocacy for the LGBT/HIV AIDS movement. This year it will be presented to two incredible and driving forces in the LGBTQ communities, Arlene Rosenthal and Brian Wanzek (aka Bella da Ball).

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Arlene Rosenthal received a B.A. in Spanish at U.C.L.A. After graduating in 1966. She worked for the Probation Department as a counselor and then as a bilingual teacher in the L.A. District. The lure of Berkeley and all the social change happening there was too great, so she picked up and left L.A. for life in the Bay Area. Arlene spent several years there teaching school and enjoying all the political fervor, the S.F. Opera House, the Symphony, theater, and the entire natural outdoors where one could hike and commune with nature. She migrated to the desert in 1973, worked as a bilingual teacher until starting her own custom-clothing business.

Her spirit of community stuck and she found herself involved in social change and working in organizations where she could help bring change for those who were unable to advocate for themselves. After years of serving on many boards and raising much needed funding for them, she was asked to sit on the Board of the Well in the Desert. After several years she became its President and today, continues to serve with much pleasure. She is also
proud to serve as President of OperaArts, an organization created to provide quality cultural events to the public for free or for affordable prices.

Brian Wanzek, perhaps better known as Bella da Ball, is a recipient of a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars, received Safe Schools Desert Cities Champion for Youth Award for LBGTQIA, PrideNation Best Entertainer People’s Choice Award for years, Community Service Award from AAP, Volunteer of the Year from Greater Palm Springs Pride, named Desert
Outlook’s Best of the Valley Ultimate Pride drag personality for years, received honors from Desert AIDS Project celebrating Everyday Heroes, received Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce P.S. I Love You award.  Bella was the inaugural “Community Sweetheart” at the Palm Springs 25th Festival of Lights parade last year.  Bella hosts Drag Queen Story Hour at the Palm Springs Public Library.  She has a social scene column in Rage Magazine.

Other involvement includes Rainbow Youth Summit and Youth Prom, Palm Springs Pride and its Pride Cabaret Stage (Saturday and Sunday of Pride weekend), Film Festivals and ShortFest, Modernism Week, Palm Springs Art Museum Meet the Museum, Arenas Road Halloween celebrations, AAP Oscar’s Night, D.A.P. events including Queen of the Desert pageant and Desert AIDS Walk, Rancho Mirage Women’s Club, Palm Springs Women’s Club and others on social and community calendars. Bella is known for long legs, short skirts, high heels, big hair, big smile, and wild attire.
Bella presents a weekly show Thursdays at Copa and hosts Game Night Mondays at Ace Hotel.  Check out Bella da Ball on Facebook.
Brian and his partner, Kenneth Hamman has a four-legged daughter, Holly.  Brian grew up in a small mid-western city and comes from a background of community minded and involved family.

Bryan Gallo joined KMIR News as a Weathercaster in August 2015, which has been a lifelong dream come true for Bryan. Bryan has worked in the entertainment and restaurant business since he was a teenager. First working just to make ends meet — Bryan found his niche: helping folks get comfortable and enjoy themselves! As a young adult, he moved from the Bay Area to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a professional dancer, where he had the opportunity to work on MTV and then on Soul Train as a dancer. His reputation for gracious hosting earned him the honor of being voted Pasadena’s “Best Local Personality” in the Pasadena Weekly’s Reader’s Poll in 2008, 2009, & 2011. Bryan says: “I love being on stage, I am a host by nature. May it be at home or on a main stage it comes naturally. I love it.”

Certified Appraiser, author, collectible car consultant and opera singer Donald Osborne will be this year’s auctioneer. He currently co-stars with Jay Leno on Jay Leno's Garage on CNBC.

HRC also creates educational resources and outreach programs for corporate America as well as for all members of the general population who are committed to fairness and equality. HRC fights for LGBTQ equality across California alongside state and local groups and lawmakers.

The Garden Party brings together more than 700 HRC members, friends, families, and allies for an afternoon of celebration and inspiration featuring an open cocktail reception, an extensive silent auction, thought-provoking speakers, and special celebrity guests and honorees.  Tickets start at $75.00 and include sumptuous passed hors d'oeuvres and a hosted bar.