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Pride Center Executive Director Paul Hyman to be honored Sunday at Lambda Legal reception in Fort Lauderdale

BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com

Paul Hyman, executive director the the Pride Center at Equality Park in Wilton Manors, is the honoree Sunday at Lambda Legal's annual reception in Fort Lauderdale.

"I’m very pleased and touched to be recognized by Lambda Legal in particular," Hyman says. "When I started my job, six years ago now, there was a lot of risk for the center. Difficulties had unfolded. The GLCC at the time -- finances were difficult, the outcome of the sale of Andrews Avenue was up in the air.

When I came on board, local supporters of the center had also been very, very  involved with Lambda Legal’s national board. I appreciated the support of those individuals: Tony Timiraos and Arthur Crispino, Chuck Loring and Mona Pittenger," Hyman says. "These people really came through. They supported me, they supported the center at a time when things were critical for us."

Hyman says Lambda Legal's best practices are "the gold standard" of community organizations.

"I also really respect Lambda Legal’s role it the pursuit of LGBT rights and the work they do through the courts," he says.

Lambda Legal reception co-chair Peter Pileski of Fort Lauderdale said Hyman was the group's first choice to be honored this year.

“We always look for a local honoree who’s been instrumental in furthering LGBT rights in South Florida," Pileski says.

Here are details about the reception, from Lambda Legal's website:

Please join Lambda Legal for the 8th annual Fort Lauderdale Reception on Sunday, March 27th, 2011.  This annual event, a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception among the lush grounds of the Bonnet House Museum and Gardens will bring together more than 300 of our supporters from across South Florida’s LGBT and allied community to celebrate the work of Lambda Legal.

Featuring

Kevin Cathcart, Executive Director, will discuss Lambda Legal’s docket and educational work both regionally and nationally.

Robert Franke and Sara Franke-Bowling, past Lambda Legal plaintiffs, will share the story behind their case Franke v. Parkstone Living Center, Inc., in which an assisted living facility evicted the retiree, Robert Franke, because he has HIV. Recently, they participated in a White House conference on HIV & Aging.

Honoring

Paul Hyman, Pride Center Executive Director, for his tireless commitment to providing for the needs of South Florida’s LGBT community.

Reception tickets will be available at the door for $150 each. Bonnet House Museum & Gardens is located at 900 N. Birch Rd., Fort Lauderdale.

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