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The Betsy Blog

South Florida's Unity Coalition honors Jonathan Plutzik and The Betsy

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Miami Beach, Florida (August 27, 2015)… For the 7th year, Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida (UC|CU) LEGENDS HONORS and LEADERS, LEGENDS & LOVELIES Ball celebrates the good, positive & outstanding within the LGBTQ & ally community. Through the annual recognition the community comes together to focus on how we can inspire others to do good, excel, be proud of who they are & just be better people.    This year, the Legends Ball will be on Friday, September 11th, 7-11pm on Miami Beach’s famed Ocean Drive, and will honor JONATHAN PLUTZIK, as well as three other community members: CARIDAD MORO-GONLIER, MILAN RODRIGUEZ & LEO LAM HAINES.  


JONATHAN PLUTZIK, Community Visionary & Ally Award | As owner of The Betsy - South Beach, Jonathan and his sister Deborah Briggs-Plutzik have established a climate of first rate lodging within a creative paradise. From their successful Writer Room Program to partnerships with UC|CU on Celebrate ORGULLO, TransArt, ArtNights & more, The BETSY and Jonathan have been a vital resource for the Arts & LGBT community. “Our partnership with Unity Coalition/Coalición Unida is an important part of The Betsy’s programming in the LGBT space … said Plutzik, and I am delighted to accept this award as we anticipate many more partnerships that will serve the LGBT community in this region, and beyond. "


CARIDAD MORO-GRONLIER, Educational Leader Award | Caridad is a mother, wife, author, community leader & teacher at G. Holmes Braddock Sr. High School and also their GSA program director. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals, she is the recipient of a Florida Individual Artist Fellowship in poetry, and twice nominated for a Pushcart prize.  Caridad has been a visiting artist in residence in The Betsy Writers Room and guest reader at many Betsy literary events, and will read this year in The Betsy Writers Room Pavilion at Celebrate Orgullo, on October 3. 


MILAN RODRIGUEZ, Unsung Hero Award | Born in Cuba, Milan migrated to Miami in the 80’s and started a whole new life. Focusing on her talents in graphic design, photography & promotions, she has built a nightlife promotional empire (milancita.com), is a devoted wife, mom to her loving dogs, and always tirelessly working on behalf of her Trangender & Hispanic LGBT community. Milan is an inspiration to all who meet her.


LEO LAM HAINES, Youth Leadership Award | As a transgender high school student, support has always been difficult to find. I joined Pridelines half-way through my freshman year after having been harassed by school staff, teachers, and students. I felt isolated and anxious, and finding a community at Pridelines contributed towards a huge improvement in my life experience.  Eventually I created “Beyond the Binary,” a Trans* and Gender Nonconforming support group there. This experience transcends a traditional LGBT meeting since it is not uncommon to encounter transphobia within the cisgender LGB community.  


The LEGENDS Ball and Legends Honors will be on Friday, September 11, 2015 - Tickets available at unitycoalition.org



Unity Coalition (UC): Founded and Directed by Herb Sosa, UC is the First & Only organization for the So. Fla. Latino|Hispanic| LGBT Community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning)- and has been advancing Equality & Fairness since 2002. La Primera y Unica organización en el sur de la Florida para la comunidad latina|hispana LGBTQ (lesbianas, gay,bisexual, transgénero, cuestionando) - avanzando Igualdad y Justicia desde el 2002  (unitycoaltion.org)

The Betsy–South Beach embraces the LGBT community through global arts and culture. Since opening in 2012, The Betsy Writer’s Room has hosted more than 300 authors, artists and thought leaders.  The hotel's visionary TransArt initiative was launched in 2015 with Unity Coalition and TransMiami. The Betsy’s Poetry programs are inspired by the work of mid-century poet Hyam Plutzik, three-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and father of Betsy owner Jonathan Plutzik.   www.betsywritersroom.com and www.thebetsyhotel.com.


For more information on LGBT programs at Betsy:

Deborahpbriggs@gmail.com - 305-760-6902

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