Jason Collins blazed the trail for other professional athletes to come out to the world as proud gay men. Jim Burba and Bob Hayes wrote the book on how to succeed in a gay partnership. No wonder they all became friends and Collins jumped at the chance to be a part of honoring Burba and Hayes to the Palm Springs community.
At the conclusion of the 2012-13 NBA season, Collins publicly came out as gay in a cover story forSports Illustrated – becoming the first male active player in any of the four major American professional sports to announce that he is gay. President Obama expressed his gratitude to Collins for his courageous announcement and said he “couldn’t be prouder” of Collins, recognizing this as a point of progress for the LGBT community, and one more step in America’s goal to treat everyone fairly and with respect.
Collins has traveled the country with the mission of empowering people to live their lives as their true selves, and has become an active member of numerous charities, foundations and organizations. Burba and Hayes, likewise, believe in the principle of sharing their success with the communities they serve – so far, they have contributed more than US $15 million for scholarships, education, and social services organizations.
In addition to producing worldwide events, films, and Broadway musicals, Burba and Hayes also wrote Smart Partners, a book that focuses on how to create and maintain successful partnerships, in business and in life. Based on their principles for partnering, the book covers everything from deciding if you really need—and want—a partner, to how to pick a partner whom you trust and who shares your core values. The book is chock-full of colorful anecdotes and wisdom garnered from more than two decades of experience as life and business partners.
They should know because Burba and Hayes have been both for many years – life partners first, then business partners as well – and succeeding as both. They also been included on Out Magazine’s list of “20 Power Couples to Know,” which includes such luminaries as clothing designer Tom Ford and his partner, Richard Buckley; singer Sir Elton John and his husband, David Furnish; and talk show host and actor Ellen DeGeneres and her wife, Portia di Rossi.
On Saturday, February 6, Collins will be presenting the Partners For Life Award for 2016 to Burbaand Hayes, in recognition of their long-standing support of Desert AIDS Project. If you’d like to be part of an evening of activism and entertainment – featuring Chaka Khan in a multi-song set – get your tickets NOW by calling 760-992-0440 or online by clicking here.