Last night SF’s KQED, and corporate co-sponsor, Union Bank, kicked off the Bay Area’s PBS stations annual celebration of Pride Month with the 2013 Local LGBT Hero’s Awards to a packed Castro Theatre. It was hosted by reality television’s Beekman Boys and CBS’s Amazing Race winners, Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge.
Four individuals were feted this year for their outstanding service to the City’s LGBT society including a very early Castro Biscuit supporter, LGBT community dynamo, the ubiquitous, Mr. Stu Smith.
Stu Smith about to be honored at KQED’s Local Hero Awards, Castro Theatre, 2013. Photo: Marty Kevin Courson
Mr. Smith’s volunteer resume reads like a man possessed with unlimited energy. He established his own non-profit, Tin Pan Alley Productions, an Internet portal that connects nonprofits to resources needed to carry out their missions. He is board chair emeritus of Shanti Project where he first started volunteering more in the late 1980′s, board chair of The Paratransit Coordinating Council, member of the Castro Country Club Advisory Board, member of the newly created LGBT Senior Task Force, adjudicator for the Neighborhood Courts Program, producer and host of public access television show The Drag Show, SF Bay Times newspaper columnist and Advisory Board member of the MTA Disability Placard Committee.
Alongside Mr. Smith three other well deserving LGBT citizens were recongized for their tireless committment to the health, happiness and well being of all LGBT San Franciscans.
Stonewall Projects Ex. Dir., Michael Discepola
Michael Discepola is the director of the Stonewall Project for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation located on Castro Street. The Stonewall Project is a family of programs dedicated to providing client-centered harm reduction counseling, treatment and support services to gay men, transgendered men who have sex with men, and other men who have sex with men, and who are having issues with drugs and/or alcohol. He has dedicated more than 20 years of his life to helping stem the spread of HIV and serve his community with distinction.
Ex. Dir of Lyon Martin Clinic, Dr. Dawn Harbatkin
Dawn Harbatkin, MD has been the executive director at Lyon-Martin Health Services since May 2012 and the medical director since January 2006. She served briefly as interim executive director from 2006-2008 and again in late 2010. Lyon-Martin is a community clinic in San Francisco located at the foot of the Castro that provides excellent health care to women and transgender people in a safe and compassionate environment, with sensitivity to sexual and gender identity. She helped lead the charge to find financing for the non-profit facility last year when Federal funds were pulled and private donations dwindled during the previous years tough economy threatened the ongoing operations of this one of a kind community clinic.
LYRICS Ex. Dir, Jodi Schwartz
Rounding out the Local Hero’s honorees, Jodi L. Schwartz, became LYRIC‘s executive director in 2005. She has more than 30 years of experience in nonprofit work, and an ardent commitment to social justice. During Ms. Schwartz’s tenure at LYRIC, she developed San Francisco’s first LGBTQQ youth-specific case management program, and facilitated the formation of the Community Partnership for LGBTQQ Youth – an eight-agency continuum of services for LGBTQQ youth, ages 16-24. Headquartered in the Castro on Collingwood St. it is a beacon of hope and encouragement to all our LGBTQQ youth.
All four of these individuals favored non-profits whom they work passionately for could always use financial and volunteer support. Follow the links provided within the post to help out.
KQED filmed the entire prceedings and will be airing it locally on June 23rd as part of their LGBT Pride Month programing. Make sure you keep an eye peeled for times and hearty congratulations to all our local heros!