White-hot White Party re­turns to Viz­caya in Mi­ami

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - Showtime - Broward - - FRONT PAGE - By Rod Stafford Hag­wood SouthFlorida.com

It’s time to get your blanc-ity, blanc-ity blanc go­ing with the White Party, the an­nual HIV-AIDS fundraiser that brings out the LGBTQ crowd and their al­lies for a cir­cuit party.

This year, the White Party will take place from 7 to 11 p.m. Nov. 24 and re­turn to Viz­caya Mu­seum and Gar­dens, the lo­ca­tion that is most of­ten as­so­ci­ated with the gala thrown by Care Re­source Com­mu­nity Health Cen­ters.

“Af­ter the health cen­ter de­cided to move from Viz­caya in 2011, the health cen­ter hosted it at the Seaquar­ium, Soho Stu­dios, the Perez Art Mu­seum and then on a yacht,” says Jonathan Welsh, mar­ket­ing and de­vel­op­ment man­ager at Care Re­source.

Welsh says gay-event pro­ducer URGE Mi­ami pro­duced the White Party on the sands of Mi­ami Beach in 2016 and Care Re­source skipped pro­duc­ing a White Party last year so that the health cen­ter could fo­cus on mak­ing im­prove­ments in its build­ing at 3510 Bis­cayne Blvd. The White Party, in one in­car­na­tion or an­other, has been a must-at­tend event for gay men since 1984.

Tick­ets cost $250 for gen­eral ad­mis­sion and $375 for VIP. To or­der, go to WhiteParty.org.

What’s new this time around?

This year’s theme is “A Re­turn to El­e­gance.” The even­ing will in­clude danc­ing, live acts, an open bar and light bites.

The head­lin­ers are Grammy Award win­ner Kim­berly Davis (of disco-funk band Chic) and Chris Dee­jay Smee­jay Hodg­son, who will mix the dance tunes. Other acts in­clude Lady Gaga backup dancer Michael Si­las and sax­o­phon­ist Jo­han Khiski.

“We se­lected in­cred­i­ble tal­ent to take this year's gala to an­other level,” event pro­ducer Jake Res­ni­cow says. “Dee­jay Smee­jay is very tal­ented and will set the mu­si­cal tone for the even­ing. We worked to­gether dur­ing Mi­ami Beach Pride at Base­ment. Both Kim­berly and Jo­han joined me at LifeBall Vi­enna, and to­gether they are elec­tric. This year, pro­fes­sional dancer Michael Si­las and his part­ner will be chore­ograph­ing a spe­cial num­ber as well as per­form­ing with Kim­berly and Jo­han on live sax­o­phone. All of our acts some­how in­te­grate seam­lessly.”

Chef Robyn Almod­ovar will pro­vide the hors d’oeu­vres. Almod­ovar is a TV cook­ing-com­pe­ti­tion champ, hav­ing won “Chopped” and “Cut­Throat Kitchen” as well as ap­pear­ing as a con­tes­tant on “Chopped Im­pos­si­ble,” “Camp Cut Throat” and two sea­sons of “Hell's Kitchen.”

A White Wear Fash­ion Award will go to the per­son who does the best job of dress­ing to im­press.

“Eclec­tic is good,” Welsh says. “These days, ev­ery event has the same ol’ stuff — a DJ, a cou­ple of high-boy ta­bles and some free ap­pe­tiz­ers. This event will be a mag­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Lo­ca­tion and park­ing

Viz­caya is lo­cated at 3251 S Mi­ami Ave., in Mi­ami (in the North Co­conut Grove area). Viz­caya over­looks Bis­cayne Bay and is just a quar­ter mile off I-95. It of­fers free park­ing. “I sug­gest Lyft or Uber for those that live in Mi­ami-Dade,” Welsh ad­vises.

Start bid­ding on the silent auc­tion right now

There’s a White Party silent auc­tion go­ing on where you can bid on trips, jew­elry, the­ater tick­ets, shop­ping sprees, de­signer fur­ni­ture, paint­ings, etc. All you need to do to get started is:

• Reg­is­ter via text mes­sage — Text the­whiteparty2018 fol­lowed by your full name (ex­am­ple: the­whiteparty2018 John Smith) to 469-804-7871. You will get a reg­is­tra­tion link from GalaBid to log in and start plac­ing bids.

• Reg­is­ter via web browser — Go to GalaBid.com/the­whiteparty2018 and click on “reg­is­ter.” Fill out the de­tails and click “sub­mit.” A text will be sent to your mo­bile phone with a link to the auc­tion and a pass code. Use that pass code to log in on a browser, or click on the link and to be au­to­mat­i­cally logged in on your smart­phone’s browser. rhag­[email protected]

CARE RE­SOURCE/COUR­TESY

The White Party gala is a fundraiser for Care Re­source, which pro­vides pro­grams and ser­vices through­out South Florida for peo­ple liv­ing with HIV-AIDS.

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