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Palm Springs Equality Awards 2015

EQCA Honors Dolores Huerta and Other Community Leaders, and Establishes Geoff Kors Leadership Award

Our Palm Springs Equality awards were a wonderful opportunity to come together to celebrate our victories, look to the work ahead, and honor those who have helped us achieve the gains we’ve made.

On Saturday, October 10, hundreds gathered at the Riviera in Palm Springs for a night of community recognition and celebration – it was a great event.

We were excited to inaugurate a new award – the Geoff Kors Leadership Award – by presenting the first to the award’s namesake, an incredible leader in our community, Geoff Kors. In the future, this award will be given periodically to an LGBT Californian whose work has significantly advanced LGBT civil rights or social justice on a national level.

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Among his myriad accomplishments for and contributions to the LGBT community, Geoff Kors was EQCA’s executive director from 2002 until 2011. Geoff has given his time, leadership and support to many other state and national LGBT organizations too. On Election Day 2015, Geoff was elected to the Palm Springs City Council.

Other awardees at our Palm Springs Event were civil rights icon Dolores Huerta, businesswoman and philanthropist Lisa Vanderpump, and community leader and LGBT and HIV/AIDS advocate Darrell Tucci.

Huerta, whose enormous contributions to civil rights in America include co-founding the National Farm Workers Association with César Chávez, was honored with the Vanguard Leadership Awards. EQCA executive director Rick Zbur said, “It’s a privilege to honor a civil rights titan like Dolores Huerta. LGBT people have always occupied a key place in her civil rights vision and California is a more equitable place today thanks to her many years of work.”

Lisa Vanderpump’s contributions to the LGBT community were celebrated with the Ally Leadership Award. Vanderpump has used her role as a businesswoman and celebrity to put the LGBT community at the center of her philanthropic work. She has volunteered extensive time to LGBT causes, serving as a national spokesperson for GLAAD, working with the Desert AIDS Project and the Trevor Project, and this year was recognized as a “woman of the year” by the California Legislature.

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Darrell Tucci received this year’s State Farm Good Neighbor Award. Tucci is an energetic leader on HIV, youth and other LGBT issues in the Desert area. He is one of Palm Springs’ key LGBT leaders and has dedicated time and significant talent to bettering the lives of the LGBT and HIV communities in the Desert. He is currently chief development officer for Desert AIDS Project and has served on the board of Buddies of New Jersey, his home state; the National Leadership Council of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network; and is on the national board of Bolder Giving.

We were thrilled to be able to celebrate these awardees and the entire LGBT community in Palm Springs and throughout our state at this event.

We’re already looking forward to next year!