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The Men’s Event Hits 20!

by Douglas  Baulf
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Wednesday Apr 23, 2014

This Saturday, April 26th, Fenway Health is hosting its renowned annual fundraising soiree, 'The Men's Event', at Boston's Marriott Copley Place Hotel. The event is billed as "Boston's biggest night on the town for more than 1,300 gay and bi men, transgender people, and allies." The black-tie party marks its 20th anniversary this year, and it promises to be bigger than ever.

Established in 1994, a short time after the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis, the event was designed to enhance and supplement the critically important fundraising efforts of Fenway Health, a Boston-based health center that specializes in the care of LGBT patients and their allies. As Chris Viveiros of Fenway Health explains,

"The Men's Event was modeled on the early success of the Women's Dinner Party, another Fenway Health fundraiser, which began back in 1992 and continues to this day." (The event held its 23rd dinner party back in late March.)

This year's fundraiser can be attributed to the tireless work of event chairs Joe Caputo, Rob Krasow and Matthew E. Thompson. A number of corporate sponsors are also supporting the event, which promises to be, according to Vice President of Development at Fenway, Tim Harwood, " Absolutely amazing! It will be one of the best Men's Event's in our History."

The event will begin at 6pm with drinks, mingling and a silent auction, and dinner service will commence at 7pm followed by dancing! The event will host a number of exciting guests and DJs. As Harwood explains,

"We have comedian Jimmy Tingle as our emcee and we will be honoring one of the LGBT community’s strongest allies, former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, with the Congressman Gerry E. Studds Award. Add to that funk superstars Booty Vortex and DJ Gay Jim from Kiss 108, as well as amazing live and silent auction items."

Significant and generous contributions will also be received from famed photographer Garry Bernstein, who was in Boston back in late March, photographing locals, with a portion of his earnings going to Fenway Health. Bernstein is notable for his photographs of hundreds of celebrities - indeed, late gay icons Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson were big fans, and commissioned him to photograph some of their most famous portraits! Bernstein has also created The Boston Editions -- 15 signed and numbered Limited Edition Gallery Prints of Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson, with proceeds going to Fenway Health. (To purchase a Boston Edition or book your own photo session in front of Bernstein’s camera, visit his website today.)

Former Mayor Menino’s Gerry E. Studds Award is also especially notable and well deserved on account of his dedicated and unwavering support of the LGBT community. Menino is also a long-time advocate of socially progressive public health policies, and served as honorary co-chair of Fenway’s 2006-2009 capital campaign which helped finance construction of the Ansin Building at 1340 Boylston Street.

This year’s event will no doubt be an enormous success and a consequence of the tremendous hard work of all those involved, but it is important to remember that the crucial work carried out by Fenway Health is an ongoing effort to medically support the LGBT community in the greater Boston area. Certainly, mission of Fenway Health is to "enhance the wellbeing of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and all people in our neighborhoods and beyond through access to the highest quality health care, education, research and advocacy."
Fenway Health’s Ansin Building home is located at 1340 Boylston Street in Boston’s West Fens neighborhood and is the largest facility ever constructed by an organization with a specific mission to serve the LGBT community. Furthermore Fenway: South End offers medical and behavioral health care and a full-service pharmacy.

As mentioned, this year’s black-tie event will aid with the critical research and services offered by Fenway Health, and the fundraising goal this year is expected to be well into the hundreds- of- thousands. As Tim Harwood explains,

"We hope to raise more than $600,000 to support life-saving care and services here at Fenway, programs like our HIV & STD counseling and testing services, our two pharmacies which give away $400,000 in free and discounted medications to patients in need each year, as well as our top-notch medical, dental, eye care and behavioral health practices."

To learn more about the event’s co-chairs Joe Caputo, Rob Krasow and Matthew E. Thompson, follow this link.

To find out more about Fenway Health, visit their website
For remaining tickets for The Men’s Event, call Fenway’s Development Department at 617.927.6350 to purchase tickets. There are not many left, so be sure to get yours before they sell out.


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