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Thirtieth anniversary White Party 2014 to be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 29, at Perez Art Museum Miami

BY STEVE ROTHAUS
srothaus@MiamiHerald.com

This year’s 30th-anniversary White Party seeks to return to its white roots: Lots of glamour and no torn shorts or T-shirts.

“Oh, no! I want this to be the highest level of formal wear so they can show their elegance,” said Jonathan Welsh, marketing and development manager of Care Resource, the agency that presents and benefits from the annual fundraiser. “A fantastic world of white.”

White Party, from 7 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, Nov. 29, also has a new outdoor venue: Perez Art Museum near downtown Miami.

“We have hundreds of international visitors who come from Brazil  and France and Israel and they want to be outside,” Welsh said. “They want to see the bay, they want to see the city, they want to see Miami.”

White Party is centerpiece of White Party Week, which runs during the Thanksgiving holiday from Nov. 26 through Dec. 1.

For more than 25 years, White Party was an early-evening soiree at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens popular with thousands of middle-age gay men.

In 2010, Miami-Dade County sought nearly $60,000 to rent Vizcaya for the 2011 event and Care Resource said no.

White Party moved to Miami Seaquarium, then to a club in Wynwood. The event also shifted from early evening to late night, hoping to attract thousands of young gay men in club attire.

Results were lackluster and this year Care Resource has decided to shift back to an early-evening party it hopes will attract a more diverse audience.

“Our goal is to bring in a larger spectrum of people from Miami,” said Steve Beko, Care Resource’s events coordinator. “White Party isn’t just an LGBT event, it’s a Miami event. Something our city can be proud of.”

White Party is centerpiece of White Party Week, which last year grossed  nearly $600,000 for Care Resource. For decades, the agency has been known for HIV/AIDS care, but now also provides adult primary medical care, women’s healthcare, dental and pediatric care.

“We are a federally qualified health center,” Welsh said. “White Party Week grossed $592,425 in 2013 with 86 cents of every dollar going back towards programs and services offered to our South Florida community.”

Entertainment this year will be provided by a 30-piece White Party Symphony conducted by Miami musician Sam Hyken, along with a one-hour performance by DJ David Knapp.

Returning to White Party will be drag queen Elaine Lancaster, acting as emcee for the 16th year.

“Sixteenth year in a row. Can you believe it? I’m still here honey,” said Lancaster, who has done HIV/AIDS fundraisers since the early 1980s.

“AIDS is still important, still a crisis,” Lancaster said Thursday. “People are not even practicing safe-sex anymore because they don’t think it’s a crisis. What idiots!”

Miami/Fort Lauderdale is No. 1 nationally in new HIV/AIDS diagnoses, according to recent reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“White Party started 30 years ago with an urgency to save lives,” Beko said. “It’s 30 years later and this pandemic is something that can be medically treated. But the urgency still exists because people are getting infected more and more in our community.”

If you go

White Party Week tickets go on sale Aug. 1 at www.whiteparty.org

Admission to White Party at Perez Art Museum, 1103 Biscayne Blvd.: $200, including all-night open bar and hor d'oeuvres from 7 to 9; $250 day of event.

There will be no welcome center this year. All event tickets should be printed from the website at time of purchase. Wrist bands will be mailed until just before White Party Week.

Comments

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unfortunately, "White Party" has become an overpriced joke.

This is very exciting!

Miami is such a growing and dynamic city... this event at the PAMM will be one for the ages.

I can't wait to bring out my highest level of formal wear and debonairly debut my elegance while having a really great time overlooking Biscayne Bay, the Port of Miami and the downtown Miami skyline.

The women's events suck. Care Resources is a joke and only cares about the male parties since they generate more money. If you had better events for the ladies we would come out and support you. Every year the same events for the girls it's boring. Old people and all they want to do is support the idea of white party. Steve Beko wake up and change your women's events!

Great move!

Who cares about the lesbians Erika! If they want to go to a real party they would join the guys. What is really wrong with you lesbians is that you all complain a lot that you're not getting the same treatment as the boys. Reality is guys throw down more cash and you always have the option to go to any "male" event. Stop complaining and do something about it. Join the guys. If you can't afford it attend the girl parties or stay home.

Obviously our parties have a bigger crowd we have more men in miami than females locally AND nationally. Be glad you have a party at least for the girls rather than ZERO!

I think it's more than throwing a new theme name on the White Party brand. This year it's the diamond jubilee and last year a garden party. It's a repeat over and over of the same concept and parties. Throw a bunch of gay men in a room and give them drinks with some dj from Israel. Wonder if this year the headliner is going to be from Palestine. Lol

Point is, you're just keeping the same parties just changing the theme name. It's like your whole event ran out of ideas 4 years ago. The male parties are the same and the females well they deserve an upgrade. Maybe it's the person behind the production Erika who needs to step down. Hire the person who does the guys events or some new people.

Whiteparty needs to step it up bc we look like a bunch of flaming flamingo fools compared to California's Whiteparty.

i would love to go i have been to many but lets face it my ssdi isn't going to cover the $250 unless i don't eat that month

I take offense that Elaine Lancaster is labeled a "drag queen". Also, she dresses in drag...and is a queen (for days!), she is an entertainer and the best of that genre that South Florida has to offer! Shame on you!

I take more offense when I read the financials breakdown on what Care Reaourses spends money on yearly. People are blind to the fact they payorenin payroll and funding these parties than the actual cause. Spend your money on Amfar.

Winter party, White Party and Miami Beach Pride are all frauds. Do research people and stop funding the corrupt. CHANGE MIAMI! The director of a Task Force is on vacation every month. Call him and it's straight to his VM he is out for weeks on vacation. Guess what you pay for that.

Steve why don't you write a story exposing all of them? Forever you'd be Miami's hero and more importantly show the true about what we are paying for and supporting. From what they produce for the events to what the yearly financials look like. To who sits on the board and what other organizations OR event companies they own as well as magazines.

Shocking Miami once and for all that they are criminal s not visonaries.

KUDOS to WHITE PARTY & the CareResource team!
The work CareResource has and continues to provide our South Florida community as a WHOLE is amazing and extremely well run & managed. The WHITE PARTY has been the STANDARD for all other HIV/AIDS fundraisers across the globe - I would imagine it is difficult to reinvent & keep exciting, year after year - yet keep the focus on FUNDRAISING & AWARENESS - I have no doubt it is a daunting task for all involved. Funding comes from, and STAYS in our community.
The reason (should be) that we ALL attend and financially support these events & organizations is to HELP those that need it most, not to be entertained.
NO ORGANIZATION or EVENT has done more for our South Florida HIV/AIDS community that the WHITE PARTY & CareResource. If anyone has a "better mousetrap" for this or any other group/event - GET INVOLVED, join a committee, board, donate your time, energy & money to the causes - MAKE A DIRECT DIFFERENCE AND IMPACT, rather than point fingers and critique from afar or simply expect to be constantly entertained without understanding the REASON this event exists and so many of us donate our time, talents & resources to groups like this - to provide services & healthcare to those who cannot afford it or need support, compassion & assistance. - Herb Sosa

Haters gon' hate, so allow me to make this statement. The Perez Art Museum of Miami is the PERFECT spot for this event. I commend Jon Welsh and his PR and Marketing team at Care Resource for making this happen. I am sure that securing a museum space of this magnitude RIGHT before Art Basel was nearly impossible. I'm coming from Williamsburg, VA just to experience this Diamond Jubilee and I CANNOT WAIT.

I remember speaking to Jonathan Welsh during AIDS WALK MIAMI back in April. He said, “Baby, get ready for something amazing that will put Miami on the map.” He wasn’t kidding!!

I can’t wait to drink my champagne, wear a fabulous dress and see DJ David Knapp and the Sam Hyken orchestra play together with Biscayne Bay as the backdrop.

Kudos to Care Resource for bringing both sexy and class back.

"I have fun being sexy and tough at the same time." - Christina Aguilera.Chat Conversation End

Let's be realistic these comments that are positive are from ppl who work with or for the organization. Whiteparty is a dying cause in miami. Miami was on the map before careresources and honestly is boring. Listen to the public and who cares about David Knapp. Far greater DJs and talent to bring and we are stuck with David Knapp. Good Job!

I'm sorry to bother everyone - I just have a small social network and I really am trying to get my fundraiser noticed. It's for a personally important cause! http://www.gofundme.com/d3niac God bless

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