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LGBT activist James G. Pepper wins Task Force's 2014 Eddy McIntyre Community Service Award

Longtime LGBT activist James G. Pepper will receive the 2014 Eddy McIntyre Community Service Award on Oct. 11 at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's 18th annual Miami Recognition Dinner.

The October dinner will be at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel.

A reception officially announcing Pepper's award will be held 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 13, at the Shore Club hotel, 1901 Collins Ave.

Here is the Task Force's official news release about Pepper's honor:

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force invites local community to “Sparkle” at the 18th Annual Miami Recognition Dinner

Gala will honor leading LGBT advocate James G. Pepper

MIAMI, April 24, 2014 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has announced the 18th Annual Miami Recognition Dinner at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach on Saturday, October 11, 2014. This annual fundraising event honors individuals for their outstanding contributions to the social, cultural, political and humanitarian needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. This year’s local honoree is James G. Pepper, who will receive the 2014 Eddy McIntyre Community Service Award. Pepper is a longtime LGBT rights activist and philanthropist, and he played a key role in helping people living with HIV/AIDS in the early years of the epidemic.

Pepper’s long list of achievements includes inspiring young people to become outspoken community advocates and nurturing activists to step into leadership positions. He served as mentor to both of this year’s event co-chairs, Bradley R. Carlson and Josue Santiago.

“Jim Pepper is a legend in the fight for justice and equality. He has had a profound impact on countless lives, including my own for more than 20 years. His compassion and generosity of spirit are unparalleled, and everyone who knows him is inspired by his example,” said Carlson, who also serves on the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s board of directors.clip_image001

James G. Pepper is well-known nationally for his tireless contributions to the LGBT community. A figure in the equality movement for over 40 years, Pepper was involved in creating awareness of the significant impact of HIV/AIDS in the 1980's. His contributions began with Lambda Legal and eventually expanded to key leadership positions such as the board of directors of New York’s Gay Men’s Health Crisis, one of the nation’s largest AIDS service and prevention organizations. Pepper is also a co-founder of Stonewall Community Foundation, the LGBT public charity of New York City. In South Florida, Pepper has supported a number of LGBT causes and groups, including Pridelines Youth Services, SAVE Dade, ACLU of Florida and various programs of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. All told, Pepper has raised and directed millions of dollars to support the LGBT community.

Originally from Asheville, North Carolina, Pepper moved to New York City in 1965 at the age of 20. At 23, he was invited to participate in the executive training program at Chase Manhattan Bank, becoming the youngest officer at the time. In 1974, he joined Brundage, Story and Rose, where he eventually became a principal and trustee of its mutual funds. Pepper later turned his attention to investment realty in key markets such as Key West and Miami Beach, Florida.

This October, the Miami Recognition Dinner will treat guests to an intimate cocktail reception followed by a sit-down dinner, awards ceremony and dancing. Attendees will also have the opportunity to bid on a variety of silent auction items. Proceeds from the Miami Recognition Dinner and its sister event, Winter Party Festival, support the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s important work to build power, take action and create positive, lasting change for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families throughout the country. A significant portion of the proceeds also funds multiple organizations serving the LGBT community in South Florida through a grant made by the Task Force to the GLBT Community Projects Fund of The Miami Foundation.

At last year’s dinner, more than 50 sponsors, underwriters and a sold-out crowd of over 850 guests contributed to another record-breaking year. In total, the dinner event grossed well over $600,000 – making it the most successful Miami Recognition Dinner in Task Force history!

Tickets to the 18th Annual Miami Recognition Dinner are $450 and will be available online in early June at www.miamirecognitiondinner.org. Tickets may be purchased now by calling 305.571.1924. Become a fan of the Miami Recognition Dinner on Facebook by visiting www.facebook.com/MiamiDinner. Follow on Twitter and Instagram at @SparkleMRD. Join the conversation now by using the hashtag #2014SparkleMRD.

To learn more about the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, visit www.theTaskForce.org and follow on Twitter: @TheTaskForce.

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