Our Fund Foundation and Presenting Sponsor Bank of America Private Bank hosted the Second Annual South Florida LGBT Philanthropy Awards at the Broward Center for Performing Arts on Saturday, January 25, 2020.
The cocktail reception and awards ceremony, which featured personal video tributes and interviews, celebrated four honorees whose generosity of time, talent and resources have had a significant impact on South Florida’s LGBT community.
“The Philanthropy Awards is a wonderful way to honor and give thanks to an exceptional group of generous community leaders,” said David Jobin, president and CEO of Our Fund Foundation. “In just two years this reception has become our signature event and we couldn’t have done it without the continued support from Bank of America Private Bank which allowed us to recognize these deserving individuals who have helped make South Florida the most liveable and energetic community in the country for LGBT people.”
A highlight of the evening was a heartfelt address by Mike Fortin, senior relationship manager at Bank of America. Fortin shared that early in his career he was welcomed and encouraged by bank leaders. Once he was comfortable enough to come out at work, he was able to advance his career. He now leads by example as a member and leader in Bank of America’s LGBT+ employee network.
Fortin shared that Bank of America was the first financial services company to offer comprehensive domestic partner benefits and the first financial institution to incorporate sexual orientation into its non-discrimination policies.
“At Bank of America, we help all employees reach their full potential,” Fortin said. “Our support comes through in our values, policies and benefit programs, which have helped to create an inclusive environment where differences are welcome and respected.”
This year’s class of South Florida LGBT Philanthropy awardees included:
- Raising the Bar Award: Wayne Schrebe
Honored as the Philanthropist of the Year, Schrebe’s thoughtful and generous gifts have benefitted numerous LGBT agencies in South Florida and improved countless lives. A leadership gift from the Wayne A. Schrebe and Roy J. Stegman Fund at Our Fund launched Our Fund’s Protect Our Elders Fund in 2015. In addition, Schrebe contributed significant gifts to Our Fund’s capital campaigns in 2014 and 2019.
- Commitment to a Cause Award: Mark Gilbert
Nominated by OUTShine Film Festival, Gilbert’s dedication to the film festival in terms of time, talent and treasure is unmatched, as is his boundless energy, determination and infectious spirit of volunteerism. Engaged with the festival in various capacities for much of its history, Gilbert’s single-minded focus and dedication to its mission have invigorated the board of directors, helped resolve financial issues and stabilized its leadership.
- Next Generation of Philanthropy Award: Victor Warren Nominated by SunServe, one of South Florida’s largest LGBT-serving agencies, Warren joined the non-profit’s board of directors in 2010 and began serving as Chair in January 2018. Under his guidance, SunServe experienced 26 consecutive quarters of growth and expanded its programming to serve the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community. His leadership, visibility and impact within South Florida’s community serves as a reminder of the promise of young activists, leaders and philanthropists.
- Dick Schwarz Award for Lifetime Achievement: Paul Fasana Fasana and his late partner Robert Graham’s philanthropy was instrumental in building much of the infrastructure of LGBT-life in South Florida. Their names are synonymous with the Sunshine Cathedral and the capital investments they made, including the Robert S. Graham and Paul Fasana Chapel. Fasana’s longtime passion, however, is for Stonewall National Museum & Archives’ vast collection of LGBT artifacts, for which he serves as chief archivist, a role he has held since 1995 as a volunteer. In addition to his volunteering, Fasana has endowed a fund in perpetuity for Stonewall at Our Fund and supports many local LGBT causes and agencies.
Established in 2011, Our Fund Foundation has grown into the third largest LGBT foundation in the nation. As South Florida’s only LGBT community foundation, Our Fund promotes a culture of philanthropy by uniting donors with organizations advancing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties and supporting causes within the LGBT community. For more information on Our Fund Foundation, visit our-fund.org or call 954-565-1090.