Metro DC PFLAG Announces 9th Annual Gala: Plans Include its First-Ever On-Line Auction

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This year's annual fundraiser includes an online auction, featuring collectibles, sports items, vacations and celebrity memorabilia, including an autographed picture from the cast of Brokeback Mountain. The auction begins one month before the gala.

The 9th Annual Metro DC Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) Honors Gala will take place on March 11, 2006, at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill in Washington. The event, which supports the DC Chapter of PFLAG, includes the organization's first-ever online auction. The Gala, with lead sponsor Booz Allen Hamilton, will be broadcast live by XM Satellite Radio.

The auction and Gala will help Metro DC PFLAG support its mission to promote the equality and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons, their families and friends through emotional support, education and advocacy to end discrimination and secure equal civil rights.

During the fundraiser and Honors Gala, three awards will be presented. The Corporate Leadership Award will be presented to Kimpton Hotel and Restaurant Group, LLC. The Faith in Action Award will be presented to the Reverends John Mack and Barbara Gerlach of Washington, DC’s First Congregational United Church of Christ. The Spotlight Award will be presented to actress Thea Gill who played Lindsay Peterson on Showtime’s highly rated series, “Queer as Folk.”

“Our Honorees this year represent a wealth of diversity and commitment to the mission of PFLAG,” said Rhonda Buckner, Metro DC PFLAG’s Executive Director. “Each one is making a distinct difference in society, and each is having global impact.”

This year’s Gala will feature PFLAG’s first-ever online auction beginning one month before the Gala event. Starting February 13, all auction items will be available for bidding at http://www.metrodcpflag.cmarket.com.

Simply register your bid and keep tabs on the current pricing! Some items will be available exclusively online, while others will be available for live bidding on the night of the Gala, March 11.

“This year’s product line is showing tremendous promise and includes fabulous vacation packages and other one-of-a kind merchandise.” said Jim Jenkins, Auction Chair. “

Available items include everything from tarot readings to professional executive coaching programs. Collectors will be interested in autographed or donated items from celebrities including an autographed poster from Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal and the cast of Brokeback Mountain, Sharon Gless’ clothing worn in the television series Queer as Folk, as well as an outfit worn by Cyndi Lauper. Sports items are also available including tickets to the next Dallas-Redskins game in Washington, DC—on the 50 yard line.

GayWeddings.com, the pioneering online retailer dedicated to providing products, resources and information to same-sex couples who seek to affirm their life-long partnerships, has also donated an exclusive Gay Wedding Starter Kit, currently valued at $6,300. The package includes 2 hours of wedding planning consultation and invitations as well as a host of other items to support same-sex couples. “We’ve even donated a four night honeymoon stay at the Dragon's Keep on Gabriola Island, British Columbia,” says the company’s president, Kathryn Hamm.

Verizon, the telecommunications leader, is the online auction’s corporate sponsor and is donating several new video iPODs for the fundraiser.

Carole Simpson, of ABC News, will serve as the Gala’s Mistress of Ceremony. Potomac Fever, an acappella ensemble from the Washington DC Gay Men’s Chorus is scheduled perform, and the Reverend Rob Hardies, of All Souls Unitarian Church in DC, will present an invocation for the evening.

Metro DC PFLAG’s works “toward the day that society will accept all its members as equals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.” Keeping families together is PFLAG’s mission.

The 9th Annual Metro DC PFLAG Gala and Silent Auction will be held on March 11, 2006 at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Tickets to the Gala and VIP reception are $250. Tickets to the Gala dinner only are $150 each. All tickets are available online at http://www.boxofficetickets.com/pflag or by phone at 800–494–TIXS (8497).

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Rhonda Buckner
Metro DC PFLAG
202 638-3852
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