Monday, January 14, 2013

It's not an After Party, it's an After Glow

When I was interviewing Pride magazine CEO and publisher Dee Dixon for the profile of her that ran in the Observer recently (read it at, she filled me in on some exciting details about the magazine's 20th annual Pride Awards gala on Jan. 19 at the Westin uptown. (The photo above is of Dee, right, presenting an award to Abong Frankam at last year's gala. As hostess of the event, Dee always wows guests with what she wears, including this red ballgown. I can't wait to see what she has on this year.)

Read more here:

The gala has grown to be a signature event on Charlotte’s social calendar. This year, three Charlotteans will be honored for their contributions to the community: Dr. Ophelia Garmon-Brown, Thereasea Elder and Carlenia Ivory. For the first time, the audience will choose the winner, and a donation will be made to their favorite charity.

Handing out college scholarships is one of the highlights. This year’s winner is Myers Park High senior Christopher Simpson, a football player and ROTC member. “We wanted someone who needs to know the community is behind him,” said Dee of the student who has lived in shelters. "Sometimes his teachers would go pick him up and bring him to class because they knew he wanted to be there.".

The speaker is Bill Strickland, author of "Make the Impossible Possible." and founder of the Manchester Bidwell Training Center in Pittsburgh. He grew up in the Pittsburgh ghetto and barely made it into college, but went on to become a MacArthur Fellow and speaker at Harvard and Yale.

Dee is especially excited about the fun party that follows the gala - something new in honor of the event's 20th anniversary.

"We're not calling it an After Party, we're calling it an After Glow," said Dee."It's going to be hot. We're telling people to get babysitters, to get a room (at the Westin)."

If you're a guest at the gala, the After Glow is part of the evening. Individual tickets to just the After Glow will also be sold. MC Lyte performs at the $60 per ticket party that's from 10 p.m.-midnight in a lounge setting. No tickets will be sold at the door, they must be purchased in advance: