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Delaware Valley Legacy Fund to Honor 2015 HEROES at Ceremony

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For the past eight years, the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund has honored those who have committed themselves to helping the Philadelphia LGBTQ community and this year is no different. On April 12, the Philadelphia community will gather in the beautiful Lafayette ballroom at the Hotel Monaco to celebrate four individuals and two companies for their outstanding work at DVLF’s annual HEROES award ceremony and brunch. This year’s HEROES event is expected to sell out fast, filling Hotel Monaco with the most supportive and charitable allies in Philadelphia.

DVLF is the LGBTQ community foundation for the greater Philadelphia area. They have worked hard for 20 years to make sure the needs of the LGBTQ community are being met through grant-making, advocacy, and public education. Their mission is to encourage philanthropy and develop funding to assist and support projects and activities that benefit the LGBTQ community through social services, arts and culture, legal and civil rights, and education and humanities.

The HEROES being honored this year have done amazing things to help improve the LGBTQ community in Philadelphia, from providing entertainment as a premiere drag queen, to hosting a charity run through a cemetery. I think we can all agree that they have come to be an inspiration to us all. There six awards given out at the HEROES event. We are excited to share with you those six recipients:

Lifetime Legacy Award (Posthumous): Gloria Casarez

From 1999 to 2008, Casarez served as the executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative, and was appointed by Mayor Michael Nutter as Philadelphia’s first official LGBT liaison. It was due in large part to her efforts that in 2013, Philadelphia was ranked by the Municipality Equality Index (MEI) as the number one city for LGBT equality in the country, receiving a perfect score alongside Seattle. Casarez sadly passed away in October 2014 and is survived by her wife and mother.

Community HERO Award: Ian Morrison

Ian is selfless in his dedication to the LGBTQ community, lending his time and talent to numerous LGBTQ organizations. Perhaps better recognized by his stage persona, Brittany Lynn, which was birthed over 20 years ago, Ian Morrison reigns as Philadelphia’s star drag queen. His raunchy humor, flawless impressions, and bigger-than-life personality has helped to gentrify gay culture in Philadelphia through entertainment since the early 1990s.

Straight Ally HERO Award: Deputy Commissioner Kevin Bethel

In 2014, Deputy Commissioner Kevin Bethel worked alongside members of the LGBTQ community to adjust the Philadelphia Police Department’s new guidelines, which details how officers interact with transgender people. The nine-page directive not only provides definitions to promote understanding, but instructs the police to treat transgendered individuals with respect and care.

Youth HERO Award: Micah Rodriquez

Micah Rodriguez is a hero in her relationships, a hero in The Attic community, and a hero in her work toward creating a safe and supportive city for the LGBTQ youth.  At 20 years old, she is a force of compassionate strength, unyielding integrity, and forward-looking vision whose diligence and passion for her community strengthen every day.

Nonprofit Organization HERO Award: ACLU-PA

In 2014, the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania filed numerous lawsuits in federal court that would seek to allow gay couples to marry in the state of Pennsylvania. Their organization is responsible for successfully striking down PA’s Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the case of Whitewood v. Wolf case, allowing same-sex couples the right to marry.

Business HERO Award: West Laurel Hill

West Laurel Hill has given generously to many area organizations, including Attic Youth Center, Delaware Valley Legacy Fund, and the William Way LGBTQ community Center and Equality Forum. This historical venue partnered with LGBT businesses MANNA, Chatterblast Media, and Unite Fitness last October to host the first annual Run4UrLife 3K through the West Laurel Hill Cemetery. All proceeds from this spookily fun, hair-raising event went to benefit MANNA.

Sponsors for this years HEROES event include West Laurel Hill, PNC, Philly Gay Calendar, Metro Mens Clothing and many more. Click here to be a part of this inspirational event by purchasing tickets to the award ceremony and brunch or to sponsor the event. Ticket prices range from $130 to $1,165 for individual tickets and whole tables.

To get updates about the event and support the organization, connect with DVLF on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – and if you plan on attending this charitable event, use the hashtag #DVLFHEROES to connect with the organization! We look forward to this event every year and can’t wait to show our support for DVLF and the entire Philadelphia LGBTQ community!

*The Delaware Valley Legacy Fund is a client of Philly PR Girl