This Saturday, Fairfield County’s very own Triangle Community Center is hosting its 13th annual Visionary Gala! The Visionary Gala is the TCC’s most important annual fundraising event, accounting for a significant share of yearly funds. This year, the TCC is excited to welcome a special celebrity guest, three-time SAG winner Lea DaLaria, and present awards to its 2019 honorees.
We spoke with TCC Executive Director Sean-Michael Hazuda about this year’s Visionary Gala. The big night is Saturday, October 4th, at the Loading Dock in Stamford. See you there!
CT VOICE: This is your first Visionary Gala as TCC’s new Executive Director. How are you feeling about the big night—excited, nervous, confident? What are your hopes for the night overall?
HAZUDA: I am so very excited about this year’s Gala! With our first-ever celebrity guest, Lea DeLaria, we continue to elevate the experience for our Gala guests. My hope is that all of our guests will leave with a deeper understanding of and commitment to TCC’s mission along with a love for our clients.
CT VOICE: A significant portion of TCC’s yearly fundraising is made at the Visionary Gala, which allows TCC to sustain and expand its life-changing services. What goals does TCC have for its upcoming expansions?
HAZUDA: The majority of the funds raised at the Gala are designated for programmatic expenses. This year we will also allocate a small portion to help pay for our newly expanded space, which will include a mental health counseling center, living room for the youth and young adults as well as a kitchen classroom. The new space is going to help TCC offer even more programs for the community!
CT VOICE: This year’s Visionary Gala features Orange is the New Black star Lea DeLaria as special celebrity guest. What do you think makes Lea DeLaria a visionary?
HAZUDA: Lea is amazing! She has been an out lesbian since the early 1990’s and was truly on the cutting edge of women’s comedy, particularly for the LGBTQ community. I have been watching Lea’s comedy for years and she has a special way of digging deep into life’s hardest situations and finding laughter and hope in the middle of our craziness.
CT VOICE: TCC has selected two members of Connecticut’s LGBT community as the Visionary Gala’s honorees: Kid Governor Ella Briggs as the Community Champion, and TracyLocke as the Partner of the Year. Why did you decide to honor these two wonderful entities? What about them embodies TCC’s vision?
HAZUDA: TracyLocke has totally transformed the face of TCC in the public eye. The TL team is passionate about our mission, and their creative, talented staff has developed messaging that continues to attract and retain new clients and allies who find love and support in the personalized, caring programs and services that TCC offers. With clients such as Pepsi and Starbucks, TracyLocke could continue to spend their efforts exclusively on these multi-million-dollar accounts. TL, however, treats TCC as a valued partner, providing over $150,000 annually in in-kind services that a small agency such as ours could never afford. TracyLocke is indeed TCC’s 2019 Community Partner of the Year!
Kid Governor Ella Briggs is on the forefront of LGBTQ issues in Connecticut. Although she is still quite young, her voice and her message are quite loud, heard from the Governor’s Mansion to the Legislative Office Building. In every corner of our state Ella has raised awareness about the challenges that confront the LGBTQ community. Ella is truly on the front lines of making Connecticut an inclusive state. Ella is most deserving of TCC’s 2019 Community Champion Award!