If you were one of the 1,000 people that joined us on Saturday evening for our 13th Annual Commonwealth Dinner presented by Altria, thank you for celebrating our victories and honoring our OUTstanding Virginians with us – we definitely felt all the love and celebration in the room! The evening would not have been possible without you.
If you couldn’t make it, keep reading to find out what we happened Saturday night. We also put some photos up on Facebook – be sure to check them out!
Keep reading for a great review of a wonderful evening!
We introduced supportive public officials…
We welcomed over 20 public officials, ranging from local school board and town council members, to Delegates and Senators, to Attorney General Mark Herring and U.S. Congressman Bobby Scott. We are thankful to have bipartisan support from a wide variety of elected leaders, especially after the most recent and very robust General Assembly session, where we faced more LGBT-centric bills than ever before.
We will continue to work with equality champions in the General Assembly until Virginia treats all LGBT people and families with dignity and respect. Thank you to all the public and elected officials who joined us on Saturday!
We congratulated our OUTstanding Virginians…
Every year, Equality Virginia honors those who have dedicated their lives to fighting for equality for the LGBT community. Some of these courageous agents for change are our OUTstanding Virginians.
With the help of Attorney General Mark Herring, we honored seven individuals and one organization that have had a major impact on Virginia’s LGBT community. The LGBT equality movement would not be where it is today if not for people like our 2016 OUTstanding Virginians.
Meet our 2016 OUTstanding Virginians – watch this video!
We shared a few laughs…
We heard from previous years that folks wanted to bring some humor to the Commonwealth Dinner, so we were ecstatic to be joined this year by our special guest for the evening, the incredibly hilarious and witty writer, comedian, and actress Carol Leifer!
As an out lesbian woman, Carol knows personally how important the movement towards full, lived and legal equality is. We were glad to have her join Virginia’s LGBT community to share in her experiences and share a few laughs together!
We had some big winners…
Continuing in our tradition of years past, we held a silent auction for nearly 70 fantastic items generously donated by local businesses and individuals. From original artwork and jewelry to romantic dinners for two, there was a little something for everybody.
Following on our most recent twist to our annual silent auction, this year Delegate Ken Plum was up on stage again to bring back our Live Auction! Our lucky winners won a weekend getaway in Lexington, a corporate suite for the Washington Nationals, and a 5-night stay in the famous Provincetown, MA!
We heard from our community…
We kicked off the special ask part of the night with an amazing and inspiring story from a close friend of EV and a transgender advocate, Kristin Plenger.
Kristin shared her story, from the first steps of her transition, to her awakening at the first annual Virginia TIES, to her incredible work and advocacy in her community today. It is stories from incredible people like Kristin that remind us all why the work we do to move equality forward is so vital for our community. When you support Equality Virginia, you’re helping to not only change lives, but to save lives.
It was amazing to see so many of you looking out for us on Saturday. Thank you for your generosity during the special ask! We are more motivated than ever to continue doing our work in communities throughout Virginia, with Fortune 500 companies and small businesses, in the General Assembly, at the Governor’s desk, and in Congress to make Virginia and this country a more inclusive place for everyone.
… and we danced the night away!
What a fantastic night! The stories we shared together about our OUTstanding Virginians and our advocates in communities across the commonwealth show how fortunate we are to have so many people standing up for equality. There is still a lot of work left to do to create an inclusive and welcoming Virginia, but we know that we are stronger together. To find out more information on what Equality Virginia is doing to move equality forward, click here. But the real heroes in the movement for LGBT equality are people like you. Thanks for all your support and for sharing the evening with us.
VIP Reception Sponsor
OUTstanding Virginian Sponsor