The 6th Annual Women's Pride in the Pines dance, dinner and show was held on Saturday, June 11, 2016 and raised a record $133,000 for the Hetrick-Martin Institute and Ali Forney Center. Organized by The LGBTQ Focus Foundation, headed by Linda Gottlieb, the sold out event brought more than 500 people to Whyte Hall in Fire Island Pines, to dance to DJs Susan Levine and George Marchelos. The VIP party then moved to the Pines Club on the Great South Bay for sunset cocktails, raw bar and hors d'oeuvres, and then returned to Whyte Hall for live performances by comic Jessica Kirson and ledgendary singer France Joli. .
A Mini Cooper car raffle, done in partnership with The Pines Foundation generated $43,000, which was shared with HMI, the Ali Forney Center, The Pines Foundation and Stonewall Community Fund.
A live and online auction included over 150 items, from exotic trips, Caribbean resorts, restaurants, theater tickets and more!
With the goal to maximize the funds for charity, expenses were kept at 15% of the total revenue.
The Ali Forney Center mission is to protect LGBTQ youths from the harms of homelessness and empower them with the tools needed to live independently. Committed to saving the lives of LGBTQ youth, in 2002 Carl Siciliano founded the Ali Forney Center (AFC) in memory of Ali. Since AFC's launch with just 6 beds in a church basement, the organization has grown to become the largest agency dedicated to LGBTQ homeless youth in the country -- assisting nearly 1,400 youth per year through 10 housing sites and a multi-purpose Drop-In Center.
Founded in 1979, the Hetrick-Martin Institute is the host agency for the Harvey Milk High School and serves more than 2,000 LGBTQ youth annually through its Youth Advocacy and Capacity Building, providing safety, acceptance, career training, HIV counseling, meals and assistance with housing to ensure that young people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression, achieve their full potential.