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Sponsorship

 


Sponsorship

The 16th Annual Commonwealth Dinner is Equality Virginia’s signature annual event and Virginia’s largest black-tie gala for the Commonwealth’s LGBT community and its supporters. Each year, the Dinner has attracted over 1,000 guests and is promoted through electronic and print media to the many thousands of LGBT and straight ally Virginians living across the Commonwealth.

Your company’s 2019 sponsorship of the Dinner will ensure that your business is promoted to LGBT and allied individuals statewide. Being a Dinner sponsor is a great way to contribute to today’s important and historical movement towards equality—while opening the doors of your business to the large and loyal audience of LGBT and LGBT-friendly patrons.

For more information see our 2019 sponsorship packet or contact Morgan at [email protected] or call 804-643-4816.

Advertising

Advertising opportunities are also available.  The full-color Dinner program reaches one thousand influential guests.  You can download the Advertising Agreement here.

For more detailed information, e-mail Chris at [email protected] or call 804-643-4816

Ties Sponsors & Collaborators

TIES 2016

all-in-one-logos-for-ties

Thank You To Our Sponsors

April 2nd, 2013

More than 1,000 LGBT Virginians and supporters of equality joined this year’s 10th Annual Commonwealth Dinner.  Thank you to Altria, Weinstein Properties and all of our sponsors for making this year’s event possible!

Sponsorship

 


Sponsorship

The 15th Annual Commonwealth Dinner is Equality Virginia’s signature annual event and Virginia’s largest black-tie gala for the Commonwealth’s LGBT community and its supporters. Each year, the Dinner has attracted over 1,000 guests and is promoted through electronic and print media to the many thousands of LGBT and straight ally Virginians living across the Commonwealth.

Your company’s 2018 sponsorship of the Dinner will ensure that your business is promoted to LGBT and allied individuals statewide. Being a Dinner sponsor is a great way to contribute to today’s important and historical movement towards equality—while opening the doors of your business to the large and loyal audience of LGBT and LGBT-friendly patrons.

For more information see our 2018 sponsorship packet or contact Joseph at [email protected] or call 804-643-4816.

Advertising

Advertising opportunities are also available.  The full-color Dinner program reaches one thousand influential guests.  You can download the Advertising Agreement here.

For more detailed information, e-mail Chris at [email protected] or call 804-643-4816

Sponsor Legends

slider

PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS

PAST HONOREES

SPONSOR LEGENDS

 

Sponsor Legends 2014

The Legends Gala is Equality Virginia’s second largest annual event, which takes places in Hampton Roads for the community’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and allied supporters. In its eighth year, the Legends Gala continues to attract hundreds, and is promoted through print and electronic media to thousands of LGBT and straight ally Hampton Roads community members. As a sponsor of the Legends Gala, you ensure that members from the community recognize your support for LGBT Virginians.

We rely on the support of good and caring people like you in order for the Legends Gala to be a success. Without your support, Equality Virginia’s work would not be possible. Sponsorship of this year’s event will go a long way to make a difference for the LGBT community in Hampton Roads and all of Virginia.

Click here for the 2014 Sponsorship Package.

Platinum Sponsor | $3,000

  • 8 tickets with reserved table at VIP Dinner and entrance to the Main Event
  • Full page advertisement in the Legends Program
  • Recognition on Sponsor Poster at dinner entrance
  • Logo or name with link on Legends webpage until March 31, 2015
  • Company logo prominently featured on invitations, announcements, media ads, publicity and supplemental marketing announcing Legends sponsored event
  • Verbal recognition of sponsorship during VIP Dinner and Main Event

 

 Gold Sponsor | $2,000

  • 4 tickets with reserved priority seating at VIP Dinner and entrance to the Main Event
  • Half page advertisement in the Legends Program
  • Recognition on Sponsor Poster at dinner entrance
  • Logo or name on Legends webpage until March 31, 2015
  • Company logo on invitations, announcements, media ads, publicity and supplemental marketing announcing Legends sponsored event
  • Verbal recognition of sponsorship at the Main Event

 

Silver Sponsor | $1,000 

  • 2 tickets with reserved priority seating at VIP Dinner and entrance to the Main Event
  • Half page advertisement in the Legends Program
  • Recognition on Sponsor Poster at dinner entrance
  • Logo or name on Legends webpage until March 31, 2015
  • Company logo on invitations, announcements, media ads, publicity and supplemental marketing announcing Legends sponsored event

 

Patron Sponsor | $500 

  • 2 tickets with reserved priority seating at VIP Dinner and entrance to  the Main Event
  • Recognition at event
  • Name listing in Legends Program

 

For Sponsorship Opportunities, contact John Coleman at jcoleman@equalityvirginia.org | 804-643-4816

Jay Timmons

OUTstanding Virginians 2019

Jay Timmons

CEO, Advocate, Father

Jay Timmons

Jay Timmons sees a lot of America. When he sat down for our interview, he had just returned to Northern Virginia from a two-week, eight-state tour as CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). Encountering so many people in so many places gives him many opportunities to think deeply about what makes the nation exceptional.

For Jay, America’s character and promise rests on four pillars: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty, and equal opportunity.  Jay is hopeful a leader will emerge who will embrace all four pillars. “Then we can productively keep our differences focused on policy issues,” Jay says, and policy is the area where Jay has chosen to make his mark on the world. As head of NAM, he is a leading advocate for the more than 12 million men and women who make things in America, educating the public and policymakers on issues that affect this critical sector of the U.S. economy.

Jay saw first-hand how American industry raised the standard of living in his hometown of Chillicothe, Ohio, where his grandfather worked at a Mead paper plant. However politics, not business, proved to be his inspiration. He left Ohio State in 1983 to join the Reagan revolution and soon found himself in Washington working as a congressional press secretary. From 1991 to 2002, he served as chief of staff to George Allen during Allen’s terms as congressman, governor of Virginia, and senator. Jay led the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the 2004 election cycle before joining NAM as policy director.

For most of his time in politics, Jay was living openly in a committed relationship with Rick Olson, a corporate lobbyist, now his husband. They kept their relationship private until 2004, when Jay was outed against his will. In this act, Jay saw an opportunity “to show how it’s possible to live authentically as a gay man and a conservative republican.” As Jay puts it, “We’ve been married in our eyes for 28 years and in the eyes of the law for 10 and a half,” since getting married in California in 2008.

Soon after they married, Jay and Rick decided that they wanted to start a family. Adoption would have been the logical path, but adoption by same-sex couples was nearly impossible in Virginia. So they took the alternative route of surrogacy. Through a California surrogate, Jay and Rick welcomed two daughters into their family.

In 2013, an unexpected opportunity presented itself. A couple in Virginia, who was unable to conceive, asked Jay and Rick to accept an extra viable embryo of theirs that had been frozen for 13 years.  So, they researched various state laws and then found a surrogate in Wisconsin to carry for them. A judge gave them interim parental rights. “Everything came right together,” Jay says.

And then everything fell apart.  A second judge suspended those rights shortly before baby Jacob was born in 2015.  Everyone involved in this uncontested case wanted Jay and Rick to be Jacob’s parents, but this new judge appointed a guardian to determine the child’s “best interests”.

A ten-month court battle ensued. Although the judge did not take Jacob away physically, the family endured nearly a year with no legal status. “Every night, one of us would wake up in a panic, scared to death that the next morning someone would come knocking on the door to take Jacob from us and his sisters,” Jay recalls.

The unthinkable occurred in 2016 when the judge finally took away Jay and Rick’s parental rights and deliberately left Jacob an orphan and a ward of the state.  In his ruling, he declared surrogacy to be human trafficking. “We were branded as human traffickers,” Jay says.

And then the nightmare ended as suddenly as it began. The judge abruptly resigned his office, and his replacement restored Jay and Rick’s parental rights, annulling Jacob’s status as a legal orphan.  The worst times were over.

That could be the end of the story but it isn’t. Mindful of what can happen in the absence of clear policy, Jay and Rick pushed for legislation ensuring the right of same-sex couples in Virginia to become legally recognized parents through surrogacy. Sponsored by Delegate Rip Sullivan (D), the bill, known as Jacob’s Law, passed in the General Assembly this session with strong bipartisan support. Governor Northam signed it into law on March 14.

And here the interview comes full circle. For Jay, the fact that democrats and republicans saw different things to like about the bill confirms the possibility of finding common ground. “It would have been easy for republicans to dismiss Jacob’s Law as an ‘LGBT bill’ and for democrats to dismiss it as a ‘pro-life bill,’” he says, “but by talking about the heartache, expense, and discrimination we experienced and how all that could have been avoided, we showed this bill would make Virginia a better place to live.” Jay believes the American people can come together politically when leaders propose “real solutions for real problems.”

For Jay’s daughters (C.J., age 9, and Ellie, 7) the issues are less abstract. During their dads’ campaign to pass Jacob’s Law, they heard the details of what happened nearly four years ago. After some emotion and a lot of questions, Jay reports, they thought about what the new law means. “They’re happy to have had a role in keeping families like their own together,” he says.

Reverend Lacette Cross

OUTstanding Virginians 2019

 

Reverend Lacette Cross

Baptist Minister, Community Organizer, Sex Educator

Reverend Lacette Cross

Lacette Cross – known in the community as “Rev. L” – sometimes struggles with the complexities of representation.  A black, bisexual, ordained Baptist minister living in the South, she co-founded and leads Us Giving Richmond Connections (UGRC), which sponsored Virginia’s first Black Pride weekend last year and is rapidly becoming a core institution in the black queer community.  She is a “force for good…determined to create a world that allows all people to be their authentic selves,” as one of her nominators wrote. Yet she says when people see that the face of Black Pride RVA is a forty-three-year-old faith leader they make assumptions.  This doesn’t worry her, though, because she knows her work in the community will show even skeptics that she “gets it.”

 

“I always wanted to be the black Dr. Ruth,” she says. “Now I’m doing work around sex, faith, and identity.”  It took some soul-searching to reach that intersection, however. Her path to becoming Rev. L began when she was a young preacher in a conservative-fundamentalist church working as a youth minister. “I was coming into my woman-loving self,” she recounts, “and privately questioning whether I could still love women and God too.”  The tension proved untenable when a young person came out as lesbian. “I had to ask myself if I could look this person in the eye and say ‘you’re going to hell,’ which was the party line.”

 

Lacette couldn’t, and two important outcomes flowed from that decision. First, the young person found the courage to be their authentic self and later to embrace his true identity as a man. Second, Lacette decided to continue her ministry in a more affirming religious environment. The two have since stayed connected. “He got married in Minnesota and I fully supported his wedding,” Lacette recounts. “It was so important to let him know how integral our conversation was to who I am today and why I stand where I stand.”

 

Now newly transplanted in Richmond, Lacette attended events throughout the LGBTQ community to get a feel for the atmosphere and how she might fit in. Quite quickly, she realized there was a racial disparity in who was leading, planning and speaking at community events.

 

To think through a solution, Lacette decided to literally give black leaders in the LGBTQ community a seat at the table in the form of a conversation over dinner. “We didn’t know what it would turn into,” she recalls; “we had a choice of more complaining over drinks or organizing to create the space we’d been asking for.” This came at a time where other justice groups in the city had been advocating for POC space at Pride events to no avail.  After the dinner meeting, the group announced the inaugural Black Pride weekend. The July 2018 event, organized by just eight people, was the first in the entire Commonwealth of Virginia.  With over 500 people attending the weekend of events, it was clear that Black Pride RVA was a success.

 

The newly founded organization quickly evolved into a non-profit with a mission to support “the health and wellness of Black LGBTQ persons of the Greater Richmond area.” Aware of how social isolation negatively impacts health outcomes, Lacette and the team instituted a monthly social event, Third Thursdays, which brings in a diverse cross-section of the community. She is adding an educational component to UGRC’s activities, with opportunities to learn about financial literacy, health screenings, and aging with dignity. Under her leadership, she is forging ties with other local organizations, such as Nationz Foundation, VA Pride, Diversity Richmond, Side by Side and the Virginia Anti-Violence Project.

 

With help from affirming community institutions such as the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation, Lacette is exploring the possibility of UGRC securing a physical space for black LGBTQ persons to access health information.  She is especially interested in using this space to serve the most marginalized members of the black LGBTQ communities. “I want there to be none of the worries that people have in other places: will they misgender me; will they adequately help me; will they discriminate on religious grounds?”

 

As if these initiatives and her work as the Volunteers and Outreach Director of Side by Side aren’t enough, Lacette also serves as the pastor of Restoration Fellowship RVA (RFRVA), founded in 2016 with a mission to “do church differently by showing love, restoring hope and serving others.” “Our church is very much creating a community-centered faith space where healing can happen,” she says. “We aim to restore hope in a city where churches are known for hurting LGBTQ persons rather than helping. We must overcome the message that ‘God doesn’t love you.’”

 

The church offers real-life bible study, creative worship through African dancing, and sex-positive community conversations. It is also committed to solving tough issues outside its doors. For instance, it partners with local organizations to collect sanitary products for women in jail who are given inadequate supplies and even supports Caravan refugees from Central America. With their newest program, Life Skills University, RFRVA is providing workshops and community meals for LGBTQ+ young adults, 19-35.  Rev. L says watching her congregation find purpose in serving others is one of the best parts of her job. “It is a joy to be a pastor to individuals coming into their own sense of self.”

 

 

Celebrate our victories this year and honor the 2019 OUTstanding Virginians by joining us at this year’s Commonwealth Dinner!

Reverend Lacette Cross

OUTstanding Virginians 2019

 

Reverend Lacette Cross

Reverend, Community Organizer, Sex Educator

Reverend Lacette Cross

Lacette Cross – known in the community as “Rev. L” – sometimes struggles with the complexities of representation.  A black, bisexual, ordained Baptist minister living in the South, she co-founded and leads Us Giving Richmond Connections (UGRC), which sponsored Virginia’s first Black Pride weekend last year and is rapidly becoming a core institution in the black queer community.  She is a “force for good…determined to create a world that allows all people to be their authentic selves,” as one of her nominators wrote. Yet she says when people see that the face of Black Pride RVA is a forty-three-year-old faith leader they make assumptions.  This doesn’t worry her, though, because she knows her work in the community will show even skeptics that she “gets it.”

“I always wanted to be the black Dr. Ruth,” she says. “Now I’m doing work around sex, faith, and identity.”  It took some soul-searching to reach that intersection, however. Her path to becoming Rev. L began when she was a young preacher in a conservative-fundamentalist church working as a youth minister. “I was coming into my woman-loving self,” she recounts, “and privately questioning whether I could still love women and God too.”  The tension proved untenable when a young person came out as lesbian. “I had to ask myself if I could look this person in the eye and say ‘you’re going to hell,’ which was the party line.”

Lacette couldn’t, and two important outcomes flowed from that decision. First, the young person found the courage to be their authentic self and later to embrace his true identity as a man. Second, Lacette decided to continue her ministry in a more affirming religious environment. The two have since stayed connected. “He got married in Minnesota and I fully supported his wedding,” Lacette recounts. “It was so important to let him know how integral our conversation was to who I am today and why I stand where I stand.”

Now newly transplanted in Richmond, Lacette attended events throughout the LGBTQ community to get a feel for the atmosphere and how she might fit in. Quite quickly, she realized there was a racial disparity in who was leading, planning and speaking at community events.

To think through a solution, Lacette decided to literally give black leaders in the LGBTQ community a seat at the table in the form of a conversation over dinner. “We didn’t know what it would turn into,” she recalls; “we had a choice of more complaining over drinks or organizing to create the space we’d been asking for.” This came at a time where other justice groups in the city had been advocating for POC space at Pride events to no avail.  After the dinner meeting, the group announced the inaugural Black Pride weekend. The July 2018 event, organized by just eight people, was the first in the entire Commonwealth of Virginia.  With over 500 people attending the weekend of events, it was clear that Black Pride RVA was a success.

The newly founded organization quickly evolved into a non-profit with a mission to support “the health and wellness of Black LGBTQ persons of the Greater Richmond area.” Aware of how social isolation negatively impacts health outcomes, Lacette and the team instituted a monthly social event, Third Thursdays, which brings in a diverse cross-section of the community. She is adding an educational component to UGRC’s activities, with opportunities to learn about financial literacy, health screenings, and aging with dignity. Under her leadership, she is forging ties with other local organizations, such as Nationz Foundation, VA Pride, Diversity Richmond, Side by Side and the Virginia Anti-Violence Project.

With help from affirming community institutions such as the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation, Lacette is exploring the possibility of UGRC securing a physical space for black LGBTQ persons to access health information.  She is especially interested in using this space to serve the most marginalized members of the black LGBTQ communities. “I want there to be none of the worries that people have in other places: will they misgender me; will they adequately help me; will they discriminate on religious grounds?”

As if these initiatives and her work as the Volunteers and Outreach Director of Side by Side aren’t enough, Lacette also serves as the pastor of Restoration Fellowship RVA (RFRVA), founded in 2016 with a mission to “do church differently by showing love, restoring hope and serving others.” “Our church is very much creating a community-centered faith space where healing can happen,” she says. “We aim to restore hope in a city where churches are known for hurting LGBTQ persons rather than helping. We must overcome the message that ‘God doesn’t love you.’”

The church offers real-life bible study, creative worship through African dancing, and sex-positive community conversations. It is also committed to solving tough issues outside its doors. For instance, it partners with local organizations to collect sanitary products for women in jail who are given inadequate supplies and even supports Caravan refugees from Central America. With their newest program, Life Skills University, RFRVA is providing workshops and community meals for LGBTQ+ young adults, 19-35.  Rev. L says watching her congregation find purpose in serving others is one of the best parts of her job. “It is a joy to be a pastor to individuals coming into their own sense of self.”

Commonwealth Dinner 2019

LAST YEAR’S FESTIVITIES

SPONSOR
THE DINNER

OUTSTANDING
VIRGINIANS

Tickets are sold out!

We have a limited number of VIP tickets available, call our office at 804 643 4816 to find out more.

 

Saturday, April 13

5:00 p.m.     VIP Reception (for VIP ticket holders only)
6:00 p.m.     General Registration & Silent Auction Opens
7:00 p.m.     Dinner Program Begins
10:00 p.m.   After Dinner Dance 
 

Greater Richmond Convention Center403 N. Third Street, Richmond, VA 23219 – www.richmondcenter.com

Attire: Black-tie optional.  Coat check will not be available.

Parking:   Parking deck at 3rd & Marshall (351 North 3rd Street). The parking fee is $7.00, cash only – pay upon entry. Free parking is available on the streets surrounding the Greater Richmond Convention Center.  NOTE: Enter the Convention Center from the 3rd floor of the parking deck

Arrival: To reach the registration table from the parking garage continue down the hallway and turn right. Directional signage and volunteers will be available to guide you.  All guests must check-in at the registration table in the Grand Ballroom lobby. At that time, you will receive a ticket which will show your table number and bidder number for the silent auction. If you pre-selected a vegetarian or vegan meal you will also receive a color meal card to place at your table setting.

Bars: Alcohol and beverage sales are cash only.

ATM: An ATM is located on the lower level.

Auction: The Silent Auction will open for bidding at 6:00pm. Silent Auction Check-Out will begin at 10:00pm in the grand ballroom lobby. Credit Cards, Checks and Cash will be accepted. Our Live Auction will begin shortly after the dinner service.

$1,000 Raffle: Tickets will be sold throughout the evening – one for $5 or five for $20. One lucky person will receive a $1,000 cash prize if their raffle ticket is drawn at the end of the night! You must be present to win.

Dining: Ushers will be on hand to help assist you in finding your seats.

*If you pre-ordered a vegetarian, gluten free, or vegan meal please place the meal card that you receive at registration at your place setting for the wait staff.

Lodging:

>>Linden Row Inn:

To make a reservation at the Group Rate, please follow these instructions:

  1. Go to our Reservations Page at www.reservations.lindenrowinn.com 
    2. Select your Arrival and Departure Dates and Number of Adults
    3. Enter the following Access Code for your Group to view your discounted rate:EQ19

Bookings must be made by 2 weeks prior to arrival (March 29, 2019). Room rates are $149.00 plus tax.

>>Delta Hotels by Marriott:

Directly call Marriott Reservations at 1-844-781-7397 or (804) 788-0900 on or before Thursday, March 21, 2019 to make a reservation.  Please identify yourself as part of the Equality Virginia group staying at the Delta Hotels Richmond Downtown, located at 555 E Canal St, Richmond, VA 23219.

All reservations must be guaranteed with a major credit card. The hotel will not hold any reservations unless secured by credit card.

Room Information: Room rate:  $145.00. The Hotel’s room rates are subject to applicable state and local taxes.

>>Courtyard Richmond Downtown:

To reserve, click this link.

Last day to book is 3/13/2019

Room Information: Room rate:  $159.00. The Hotel’s room rates are subject to applicable state and local taxes.

>>Richmond Downtown Marriott:

To reserve, click this link.

Last day to book is 3/29/2019

Room Information: Room rate:  $179.00. The room block is available for the nights of the 12th and 13th. The Hotel’s room rates are subject to applicable state and local taxes.

Thank you to everybody who made last year’s Commonwealth Dinner a success! Click here to see last year’s photos on Facebook!

 Find out about our sponsors below!

Learn how you can be a sponsor for the 2019 Dinner

 

 

Presenting Sponsor

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

OUT Standing Virginian & Save the Date Sponsor

VIP Reception Sponsor

Wine Sponsors

 

 

 

 

 

Nonprofit Sponsors

TIES Pop-ups

Statewide TIES Pop-ups!

Virginia is a big state, and we know it’s not always convenient for folks to join us in Richmond for our annual TIES conference each fall. That’s why EV is taking TIES (Transgender Information and Empowerment Summit) on the road this summer and introducing our statewide TIES Pop-Ups! In July 2018, we’ll be bringing TIES Pop-Ups to Norfolk, Roanoke, and Winchester. 

TIES Pop-Ups will provide the best of what TIES has to offer, including …

  • trans-affirming mental health & medical consultations
  • name & gender marker change clinic
  • employment readiness training
  • how-to-tell-your-story advocacy workshops
  • get to know community organizations & resources.

Below are event and registration details for each of the three TIES Pop-Ups. We hope to see you there!

TIES Pop-Up: Winchester
Saturday, July 14, 2018;  4:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Shenandoah University — Brandt Student Center
703 University Drive, Winchester, VA 22601

 Click here to see the program overview and schedule
for the TIES Pop-Up: Winchester

Venue Sponsor




 

TIES Pop-Up: Norfolk
Saturday, July 21, 2018;  4:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Slover Library
235 E Plume St, Norfolk, VA

Click here to see the program overview and schedule
for the TIES Pop-Up: Norfolk

 

Venue Sponsor


 

TIES Pop-Up: Roanoke
Saturday, July 28, 2018;  4:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Unitarian Universalist Church of Roanoke
2015 Grandin Rd SW, Roanoke, VA

Click here to see the program overview and schedule
for the TIES Pop-Up: Roanoke

 

Venue Sponsor


 

Special thanks to all of our cohost organizations (listed below) – who are working by and for trans people in each of these communities. They are doing important and life-saving work every single day, and without them, these TIES Pop-Ups would not be possible.

We’d also like to thank our wonderful Community Voices who are helping to spread the word about these events. To learn more about becoming a Community Voice for the TIES Pop-Up in your area, please contact [email protected]

 

 

 
 

 

 

     

Hampton Roads Pride

HRBOR

LGBTQA Rockbridge Alliance

Roanoke Diversity Center

Virginia Anti-Violence Project

Peninsula Indivisible

PFLAG Hampton Roads

YWCA of South Hampton Roads

LGBT Life Center

Arlington PFLAG Community Group of Metro DC PFLAG

Equality Loudoun

Shenandoah Valley Equality

LGBTQA Rockbridge Alliance 

Star City Pride 

AIDS Response Effort, Inc. (ARE)   

Impacto LGBTQ Leadership Project 

Virginia League of Planned Parenthood

Health Brigade

 

For more information about TIES Pop-Ups email us at [email protected] or call us at 804-643-4816.