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Compass LGBT Community Center celebrates 30 years with Black and White Ball

Compass Community Center, which serves Palm Beach County’s LGBT community, will celebrate its 30th anniversary this weekend with a fundraiser in downtown West Palm Beach.

The 17th annual Stonewall Black and White Ball will be held Saturday, June 30, at the Harriet Himmel Theater. Compass provides programs — from youth services to health resources — to support people in Palm Beach County who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer/questioning.

The evening starts with a VIP Award Presentation — which will honor community leaders, officials and sponsors — and will be hosted by Virginia Sinicki, a morning-show personality from KVJ (97.9 WRMF-FM). There will also be performances by female impersonators Velvet Lenore, Rianna Petrone and Melissa St. John.

Julie Seaver, executive director of Compass, hints that there will be a few surprises.

“Well, we do have a new award that will be presented to a third social-justice champion,” she says in an email. “However, if I told you who was receiving it, then it wouldn't be a surprise, now would it? With unique live entertainment and decor added this year, anything can happen, and you will just to have to make sure you don't miss it.”

The general admission Dance Party will feature DJ Legato of HITS 97.3 (WFLC-FM).

“Three decades ago, Compass was born in response to what was a growing civil rights movement — to fight the stigma and bias of the AIDS epidemic,” Seaver adds. “And while that fight is not over, Compass is still needed. While we certainly have come a long way, the current political climate and our ability to live free from stigma, bias and discrimination in this country is a continued battle we simply cannot afford to lose. Our civil rights, access to equitable health care and our communities continue to remain on the line. Until that changes, we will continue to act as an educator, advocate, health-service provider and focal point for community organizing.”

The 17th annual Stonewall Black and White Ball will take place Saturday, June 30, at the Harriet Himmel Theater, 700 S Rosemary Ave., in West Palm Beach. The VIP Award Reception starts at 7 p.m. The general admission Dance Party starts at 9 p.m. Tickets cost $30, $75 and $150 (VIP). To order, go to CompassGLCC.com.

rhagwood@southflorida.com

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