Winter Party 2018 VIP Cocktail Party

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By: Bobby Killgore

Kicking off the official start of the Winter Party Festival was the always festive and well-attended VIP Cocktail Reception. This year’s event was particularly significant because it was the festival’s 25th Edition, held at the newly renovated and rebranded Nautilus South Beach, a SIXTY Hotel, on Thursday, March 1, 2018, from 7:30pm to 10:00pm. And it couldn’t have happened without the enthusiastic and dedicated Host Committee.

Edison Farrow, founder and promoter of The Cabaret South Beach and SoBe Social Club fame, had an especially good time. “The Winter Party VIP Cocktail reception always attracts the “who's who” of Miami. You can feel the excitement for Winter Party week as this is the start of the events for the week,” he said. “After 25 tears, Winter Party still seems to be getting bigger and better every year.”

The evening’s main purpose? Guests came together to celebrate the incredible achievements and tireless hours dedicated to giving back on behalf of the National LGBTQ+ Task Force’s eight previous Winter Party Festival Chairs: Justin Bell (Incoming Chair, 2014; Chair, 2015-2017), Dave Cook (Co-Chair, 2006-2017), JC Curry (Co-Chair, 2007-2008), Victor Diaz-Herman (Vice Chair, 2010-2011, 2013; Co-Chair, 2012; Chair, 2014), Joe Guerrero (Chair, 2005; Co-Chair, 2006), Lisa Mercado (Co-Chair, 2007-2008), Chad Richter (Chair, 2009-2011; Co-Chair, 2012) and Derek Yee (Vice Chair, 2012; Chair, 2013).

It was a magical evening set around the beautiful pool area and adjacent gardens at the Nautilus Hotel just off the sandy shores of South Beach. Guests enjoyed signature bites including crab cakes, mini Cuban sandwiches, mushroom tartlets and an open bar courtesy of Bacardi all set amidst the musical backdrop of DJ AJ Reddy. Presented by the Art of Shaving, attendees were able to sample the latest merchandise courtesy the Art of Shaving in a special VIP branded cabana, and left with gift bags from the aforementioned, as well as canvas totes from Bloomingdale’s complete with key chain, gift certificates, cologne and more. Who doesn’t love a bit of fabulous swag? This crowd sure did!

"A night like tonight does more than celebrate diversity and acceptance in South Florida, it reminds all of us of how far the LGBTQ+ community has come and the important work that continues everyday thanks to the volunteers and Task Force members who give of themselves for such a worthy cause!” said Katherine Rodriguez, M.D.

And what a worthy cause we’re talking about—particularly in these polarizing times. In fact, since 2005 the critical funds raised from this important week-long festival of parties, dances, cultural events and more, organized by the National LGBTQ+ Task Force, count in excess of $2.7 million benefitting South Florida LGBTQ+ organizations and charities fighting for human rights equality and advancement.

Party on — in VIP Style.

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