PALM SPRINGS (CNS) – Greater Palm Springs Pride Tuesday announced six individuals and one organization who will be honored at the annual Pride Honor Awards next month.
The awards ceremony will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Hilton in Palm Springs in advance of Pride Week, which is set to be held in early November, according to Greater Palm Springs Pride CEO Ron deHarte.
“The awards ceremony promises to be a night of inspiration and celebration, bringing together LGBTQ+ activists, allies, and supporters from all walks of life,” deHarte said in a statement. “Recipients embody the spirit of Pride, and their work has created positive change.”
Spirit of Stonewall awards set to be presented at the ceremony are Organization of the Year to Brothers of the Desert, Lifetime Achievement to Donald Beck, Community Service to Miss Patsi, Volunteer of the Year to Beverly Sweigart, Pride to Jase Nagaia, and Friend of Pride to Greg and Dee Dee Barton.
Brothers of the Desert was established by a group of Black gay men in response to feelings of isolation and disconnection. The group’s mission is to nurture and support Black gay men and allies. The 75-member organization hosts several community events including an annual Wellness Summit and Brothers Got Talent along with events for Martin Luther King Day, Black History Month and Juneteenth.
Beck was one of eight supporters who took the first steps in establishing the AIDS support and educational organization Desert AIDS Project in an effort to create a place of emotional support.
Patsi is an illusion created by Thommy Kocan to raise funds for charity. She has won multiple royalty titles within Gay Rodeo Circuits and has raised $100,000 for local charities through “Dinner With Patsi” events at various restaurants.
Sweigart hosted her first charity fundraiser in 1984 for the family of a gay friend who died from AIDS and has since organized and hosted events to raise funds for animal shelters, senior centers, youth organizations, HIV/AIDS, and cancer-related organizations among others.
Nagaia is a fitness instructor who created the free low-impact cardio class “Endeavor with Jase” as he saw a need for an inclusive fitness environment. He fosters a fitness environment that empowers participants without hindrance of self-doubt or exclusion.
The Bartons opened a Palm Springs accounting firm in 2007 and have since made their community and philanthropic focus the LGBTQ community, women, children and education, and people experiencing homelessness. In the last five years they have been the top sponsor of the Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast. Dee Dee Barton has served as the Palm Springs Human Rights Commission chair and a board member for the Foundation for Palm Springs Unified School District.
“This is not a group that seeks attention or applause,” deHarte said. “They quietly serve, and we are grateful for the profound impact they have had and continue to have in our community.”
More information about the event can be found at pspride.org.
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