“Rise” the theme for this year's Palm Springs Garden Party, is a fitting tribute to the hard work of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) advocacy organization with more than 2 million members.
The 18th Annual HRC Palm Springs Garden Party will be held November 4, 2017 from 1:30-4:30p.m. Location will be given upon ticket purchase.
The Garden Party brings together more than 800 individuals (LGBTQ 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 for HRC Federal Club members.
The Advocate for Equality Award is given to members of our local community who have demonstrated a history of pro-active advocacy in the Coachella Valley. This year it will be presented to two incredible and driving forces, Barbara Carpenter and Ron DeHarte.
Barbara Carpenter – Advocate for Equality Award Recipient
Barbara Carpenter moved to Palm Springs almost seven years ago. She and 5 other Lesbians founded the grassroots organization “The L-Fund” to provide financial grants to Lesbians in temporary financial crises. Carpenter is the President of the L-Fund and with her leadership the L-Fund has developed from a small grassroots organization to a federally recognized 501© (3) that has provided scores of Lesbians with thousands of dollars in financial grants.
Carpenter is committed to empowering Lesbians by working diligently to provide a permanent resource for Lesbians in crisis in the Coachella Valley and beyond. Carpenter was honored with the other founding members of the L-Fund with the Palm Springs Pride Stonewall Advocate of the Year Award 2016 for her outstanding work in the community.
She was also awarded the 2016 “My Sister's Keeper Award for SAGE, for her commitment to empowering the lives of lesbians through service. Carpenter served as Co-Chair for the National Center for Lesbian Rights 2017 Garden Party and served on the Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast Committee. Carpenter sites the reason for serving as the L-Fund's President, Co-Chairing the 2017 National Center for Lesbian Rights Garden Party and serving on the 2017 Harvey Milk Diversity Committee as vehicles to ensure that Lesbians, Lesbians of Color and all in the LGBTQ community are acknowledged and represented. She says she doesn't only want a seat at the table, she also wants a say in what's on the menu.
Ron DeHarte – Advocate for Equality Award Recipient
Ron deHarte is a recognized human rights and diversity champion and currently serves as chairman of the City of Palm Springs Human Rights Commission. He serves as President of Greater Palm Springs Pride, Treasurer of the Consolidated Association of Pride and he's in his fourth term on the board of directors for InterPride the international association of Pride organizers.
Prior to coming to Palm Springs, DeHarte was the visionary leader for the non-profit San Diego Pride organization. With seven full time employees, 30 contractors and 1,200 volunteers, DeHarte served as a leader and equal rights advocate for one of the largest Pride organizations in the United States.
Active in the community, DeHarte serves on the City of Palm Springs Police Chief's LGBT advisory committee 2016-2017, Palm Springs Transgender Day of Remembrance committee and the Palm Springs Transgender Day of Visibility Committee. DeHarte is also a founding chair of the Coachella Valley Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast Coalition. His service and commitment to the Palm Springs community was recognized with the Desert Business Association's 2015 Outstanding Community Service Leader award.
In 2011, DeHarte saw an opportunity to breathe new life into the Palm Springs Pride celebration by relocating all the Pride Festival events to downtown Palm Springs. Over the next four years relocation plans were developed and in June 2014, the city council unanimously approved the relocation of the City of Palm Springs Pride events to Palm Canyon Dr.
Then, the largest gathering of the LGBT community and its allies to ever occur in the Coachella Valley took place, in downtown Palm Springs, November 7- 9, 2014. Attendance at official events soared and today, the direct economic impact on the region exceeds $24 million annually. Palm Springs Pride is now the city's second largest event.
Janet Zappala – Emcee
KMIR's (The Presenting Broadcast Media Sponsor) Anchor and Host of “Your Health Matters” Janet Zappala will join HRC's Garden Party as the Emcee. She is a 6-time Emmy® award winner and has garnered 13 Emmy® nominations for her work at TV stations in cities across the country, including: Honolulu, San Diego, Los Angeles, Denver and Philadelphia. She believes in the power of the media to bring visibility to non-profit organizations.
Dana Adkins – Live Auctioneer
Dana Adkins will be the live auctioneer for the Garden Party. She is a multi-talented performer who has been singing, dancing, acting and hosting shows internationally for over 20 years.
As a headliner, she has performed throughout the world, including a long stint as the star of the much-acclaimed San Francisco based production of Steve Silver's Beach Blanket Babylon. Her television acting credits include roles on the popular daytime soap Days of Our Lives, Beverly Hills 90210 and the lauded mini-series Tales of the City.
Bob Deck – DJ
This year's DJ for the HRC Garden Party is the spectacular Bob Deck who is known for his Mod sounds. He is also the co-creator of The Desert Soul Club which is Palm Springs' monthly mod / soul / funk party, bringing the True Sounds of Mod to the low desert.
Created by DJ Bobby California (Bob Deck) and DJ Lee (Lee Joseph), the heart and soul of the Club is based on irresistible dance grooves from a universe of wonderful hit and unknown records produced during the R&B, beat, mod, Motown, -heyday of the early to mid-60s, extending through the funk era of the late 60s and early 70s up to the dawn of disco.