In an evening filled with entertainment, heartfelt speeches and stories of compassion and gratitude, The Center’s honorarium, held at the Palms Oct. 5, championed four community leaders and raised more than $90,000.
Milo Miloscia, who won Person of the Year for his eight years serving on the Center’s board, working on the Center’s honorarium, Artrageous and its Opening New Doors Campaign to move the Center to its new location, thanked the Center for becoming his extending family when he and partner, John, moved to Las Vegas.
“The Center and this amazing community of Las Vegas are my extended family, and without them I am nothing,” he said. As a long-standing board member, Miloscia said he was able to see firsthand, the work The Center does for the community. “Philanthropy is a great privilege. You don’t have to have money or power, you just have to have a voice. Everyone reading this has a voice. Use it to help lift someone up who hasn’t found theirs yet.”
Judy Bowen, a trans pioneer, public speaker, philanthropist and advocate, received the Center’s Legacy award for her dedication to others. Living on Christopher Street during the Stonewall Riots, she witnessed police brutality, straight hostility and the rise of the LGBTQ movement. Bowen, who moved to Las Vegas in 1999 with her husband, Eric, had been active in helping the community, find housing and jobs.
Bryan Chan, humanitarian of the year who was celebrated for his work as a public speaker, host and emcee. A former reality television personality, featured ABC’s “Making the Band,” came to Las Vegas in 2004, after traveling with his boy band, LMNT.
Metro officer David Meyers, who received the Lanny D. Love Hero Award for service and compassion, was one of the first Metro officers certified on the Crisis Intervention Team, and has received multiple awards from Metro for his work as an advisor with the Explorer Program, protector of dignitaries and for his unit’s involvement in protection the homeless. In his 20 years with Metro, he’s been an ally and supporter of the LGBTQ community.
Claude Raffin and Bright Star Foundation Among the evening’s highlights was a spirited bidding war between Lt. Col. Claude Raffi n (USA, ret.) and an entire table for two nights at the Palms Kingpin Suite. Raffi n jumped in at $5,000 and won the bid at $10,000, then leapt on to the stage to say he was making the donation in honor of his late partner, Jon Gathercole. He then donated the auction item back, telling the auctioneer to sell it a second time. It was quickly sold to his competing bidder for an additional $10,000, raising a total of $20,000. Gathercole and Raffin are founders of Bright Star Foundation, which provide emergency funding to organizations serving the LGBTQ homeless youth