DES MOINES – One Iowa, a statewide LGBTQ organization, will host its 9th Annual Gala Celebration on Friday, April 13 at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center. The event will start off with cocktail hour at 6 p.m., and the program will begin at 7 p.m. Over 800 people are expected to attend, making it the largest Gala Celebration in the organization’s history.
One Iowa started its annual Gala Celebration tradition in 2010 to commemorate Varnum v. Brien, the momentous Iowa Supreme Court case making Iowa the third in the nation to embrace marriage equality. Since then, LGBTQ Iowans and allies have come together each year to celebrate and honor the LGBTQ advocates working to preserve and advance equality for LGBTQ Iowans.
“Coming together as a community to honor our successes, celebrate one another, and enjoy each other’s company is truly an inspiring experience,” One Iowa Executive Director Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel said. “I’m blown away by how much our annual Gala Celebration has grown in the past few years. It’s truly a testament to how proud LGBTQ Iowans and allies are of our community and their investment in our future.”
One Iowa’s 9th Gala Celebration will feature a cocktail hour, dinner, live and silent auctions, live music by the Freddy Gazzo Band, and an awards ceremony honoring the work Iowa’s LGBTQ activists have accomplished this year. Award-winning journalist Sonya Heitsusen of WHO-TV Channel 13 News will emcee the program. This year’s awardees include:
– Veridian Credit Union, Iowa’s largest credit union
– Sophia Stone, president of Transformations Iowa, a support group for transgender and non-binary Iowans.
– Jane Meyer and Tracey Griesbaum, plaintiffs in landmark 2017 discrimination lawsuits against the University of Iowa, resulting in external review of the university’s employment practices.
The event’s proceeds will support One Iowa’s mission to preserve and advance LGBTQ equality in Iowa through grassroots efforts and education. The sponsors of One Iowa’s 9th Annual Gala Celebration include Principal, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Human Rights Campaign, Meredith Corporation, Rockwell Collins, and Veridian Credit Union among others. Tickets may be purchased online here.