The acclaimed Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA), dedicated to promoting acceptance through music, turns the spotlight on leaders who use their own voices to affect and advance social change at its inaugural “Voice Awards” on Saturday, April 14, 2012, 5:30 pm, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Honorees include Geoff Kors, the former Executive Director of Equality California who was instrumental in helping to shepherd the 2011 California Fair Education Act that compels California public schools to include the contributions of persons with disabilities and LGBT people in educational textbooks and social studies curricula. Additionally, Wells Fargo, represented by Jonathan Weedman, Senior Vice President of Wells Fargo Foundation and Wells Fargo & Company, is being honored for its vital and on-going support of LGBT issues in California and beyond. Receiving the “Emerging Young Voice” award is 17-year-old Michigan high school student Katy Butler, who led a grass-roots campaign to change the rating of the documentary film “Bully” to from R-rated to PG-13-rated so more high school students, those most likely to benefit from its message, would be able to view it.
Adding an extremely poignant element to the benefit is special guest speaker James Clementi, whose 18-year-old brother Tyler, a college freshman at Rutgers University, was a victim of cyber bullying and committed suicide in 2010.
Co-Chairing the “Voice Awards” are GMCLA Chair John Duran and LGBT Rights Activist Diane Abbitt. Hosting the first-time GMCLA gala fundraiser is Miss Coco Peru, described by the Los Angeles Times as “a heavenly hoot…wry and uncensored” and by the LA Weekly as a “diva/icon/trannie/comedian.” The evening of inspiration and entertainment, which features a cocktail reception and three-course dinner capped by a dessert “after party” featuring noted DJ Colin Kim, also includes a special performance by select members the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, led by Artistic Director E. Jason Armstrong.
The Voice Award Gold Sponsors are Wells Fargo, State Farm, Hollywood Forever, The Advocate, BPJ Foundation, and Geoff Kors and James Williamson. Silver Sponsors include Zen Healing, Mansour, Combined Properties, First Investors, HOB, IAC, Mani Brothers, Cyclogram, Athens Services, JimmyWin.com, and Adam Press.
Among special guests slated to attend are recording artist Melissa Manchester and actors Charlotte Rae,
Loni Anderson, Bruce Vilanch, Sharon Lawrence, Marissa Winokur and Craig Ramsay.
Tickets are $300 and sponsor packages are also available. For tickets and information call (800) MEN-SING (800-636-7464) or visit www.gmcla.com. The Beverly Hilton Hotel is located at 9876 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, California, 90210.