Photos and Story By Rachel Galvin
The Red Dress, Dress Red Gala on Feb. 4 was hot, hot, hot… spicing up the Design Center of the Americas (DCOTA) in Dania Beach unlike anything that had been seen there before. Guests, who all dressed in red per the theme, were greeted upon arrival and received bracelets that started to strobe different colors at a certain point when the DJ (DJ Ed Talks) got the dance party started. CrowdSync Technologies was responsible for the light show.
But before the dancing began, there was much more to experience, including many photo opps … with a beautifully styled drag queen, with an event backdrop, with fashions on mannequins or within a hypnotic hallway entering the party made up of walls of diamond-shaped silver balloons… It was a surreal experience from the get-go and it only got better from there…
Inside, the party started early for VIPers with performances like Broadway performer Anne Steele, local sensation LeNora Jaye, award-winning violinists Synergy Twins and American Idol Season 10-star Matthew Darren, as well as The Voice’s Billy Gilman. There were also drinks and hors d’ oeuvres to enjoy.
In addition, several people spoke about the meaning behind the occasion and talked more about the World AIDS Museum and Educational Center, which put on the event, which supports their Florida AIDS Walk team. The mayor even presented a proclamation making the day named after the event. The event is said to have raised more than $100,000 for the Florida AIDS Walk.
The Red Dress, Dress Red concept is not new, it is just new to Ft. Lauderdale. The event began as a promise kept by a gay male couple after they received HIV diagnoses. They each promised to wear red at funerals they attended, instead of the traditional black attire usually worn, to bring attention to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States.
Since 2005, Red Dress Parties have become popularized in other larger cities such as Palm Springs, San Diego, Portland, Toronto, Seattle and San Francisco to benefit HIV and LGBTQ-related organizations.
Following the event, there was an after-hours dance party at Hunters Nightclub.
The Red Dress, Dress Red Gala was sponsored by AHF, Citrix, LeBoy/LIT Bar, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Midland/CAN Community Health, Florida Blue, FPL, HRC, Memorial Healthcare System, G21 Fitness, Aaron’s Cremation and Funeral, RE/MAX, Holy Cross Hospital, SAVE, Spirit Airlines, Pub on the Drive, Pride of the Americas, Visit Lauderdale, Walgreens, CrowdSync Technologies, USPS, Out of the Closet, ASID, Humana, Broward County Health and Human Services, Flockfest, Broward County Postal Customer Council and Design Center of the Americas. Media sponsors include Lifestyle Media Group/SFBW, OutClique, SFGN, HotSpots! and It’s Happening Out.
Thank you to Goodman PR!
For more information on the World AIDS Museum, visit www.worldaidsmuseum.org.