Pool Party For A Purpose: Under One Sun 2018

Winter Party Festival

Winter Party Festival

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By: Bobby Killgore

Everybody loves a pool party, right? Granted you don’t actually have to jump in the pool and frolic around — or do laps, no less. Perish the thought! As you might expect, most guests at this pool party weren’t actually in the pool. But you knew that, of course. We’re talking about one of the Winter Party Festival’s most sought after events — the always happening Under One Sun Pool Party. Taking place at the Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel on Saturday, March 3, 2018, this wasn’t your typical backyard pool party. What’d you expect?

The weather was naturally glorious — the sun shining, barely a cloud amid the blue sky and a temperate 78 degrees. Throw in nearly 2,000 attendees, primarily LGBTQ men and women from near and far, and you’ve got the makings of a swimmingly fabulous good time.

“The Pool Party is fantastic, it’s one of the signature events of this week and what I love about it, is it’s really the first time where folks who’ve been flying in from around the country — some people can’t get here until Friday night — show up at the pool party. It’s so much fun and when I look out at everyone celebrating our community, it reminds me that we are here to serve our community,” said Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force.

We concur. What could be more fun than raising funds for an important cause, during a fabulous pool party in South Beach? In fact, since 2005, the aforementioned National LGBTQ Task force has given over $2.7 million to the South Florida LGBTQ community. Organizations that assist in homeless programs, youth services, cultural groups and more have all benefitted from events like the Under One Sun Pool Party.

“The Winter Party Festival started 25 years ago for our community to stand up for itself, raise money and fight back against an anti-LGBT measure and we did it. It still matters that we stand up for ourselves and that’s what this Pool Party is about, especially now, especially this year,” Carey adds. “So this Pool Party and this weekend is about standing up for ourselves, taking care of our community and making sure that we also celebrate our lives as well.”

“Celebrating” was the mantra of the day, and it was easy to see why. Bigshot DJ Joe Gauthreaux provided a masterful mix of beats and the crowd enjoyed beverages sponsored by Bacardi with friends old and new. And the setting at the beautiful Kimpton Surfcomber was the ideal backdrop for celebrating life and raising important funds in promoting LGBTQ awareness and acceptance.

“I love doing Winter Party, it’s my 18th year, and I do it every year to not only give back to the community because it’s so important, especially in today’s political climate, but also because Winter Party has become part of my family. I started as a volunteer stuffing envelopes when it was part of the Dade Human Rights Foundation, and every year since, it’s just grown and grown and become part of my life and my heart and the people associated become family. It’s not only about keeping up with the needs of the LGBTQ community and bringing people together allowing them to celebrate their diversity and themselves, it’s also about raising money and just being part of this family and working with the 300-plus volunteers — having that togetherness,” said event producer Tom Bercu. “I’ve made some of my closest friends in Miami and through Winter Party. It just holds an extra special place in my heart.”

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