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Mike Ruiz to Receive Imperial Court of New York's Diamond Award, 3/31; CHICAGO & More to Perform

The Imperial Court of New York has announced that Mike Ruiz, LGBT advocate and renowned photographer, will receive the Imperial Diamond Award at the 26th Annual Night of a Thousand Gowns on March 31, 2012 at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. Ruiz will accept the Award for service to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Special guests and performers include Lisa Lampanelli (Celebrity Apprentice), radio host Elvis Duran, MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts, figure skater Johnny Weir, the cast of Chicago the Musical, Robin Strasser, Lea DeLaria, Alex McCord and Simon van Kampen.

For more information, visit http://www.icny.org/noatg.

The Night of a Thousand Gowns is described as "more than just a dazzling display of regal glamour, it is an opportunity to celebrate the LGBT community, and in particular, the colorful cross-dressing segment of that community. Last year’s event was attended by close to 1,000 attendees and raised a substantial amount for our beneficiaries. In its twenty-five year history the Court has donated over a million dollars to worthy LGBT, HIV/AIDS and youth enrichment related causes.Night of a Thousand Gowns, benefitting PFLAG NYC and New Alternatives, is a dazzling display of regal glamour to celebrate the LGBT community, and in particular, the colorful cross-dressing segment of that community. In its twenty-six year history the Court has donated over a million dollars to worthy LGBT, HIV/AIDS and youth enrichment related causes."

Emperor XX Vanity Society & Empress XXV Pepperica Swirl will crown Ritz Kraka & Witti Repartee as Emperor XXI and Empress XXVI.

DJ Johnny Dynell, LGBT advocate Rich Ferraro, writer Michael Musto, NY nightlife icon Chi Chi Valenti, and figure skate Johnny Weir will be knighted by the Imperial Court of New York for their contributions to the advancement of the LGBT community.

Imperial Diamond Award recipient Mike Ruiz is a celebrity and fashion photographer, as well as a TV personality, former model, actor, spokesperson, creative director and director.  Mike released his first book of images titled Pretty Masculine which is an effort to deconstruct the preconceived ideas about masculinity. The book’s proceeds benefit the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC).

Mike has a true sense of social responsibility and is always intent on giving back to the community. Among the countless organizations he supports are: GMHC, The Ali Forney Center, The Trevor Project, Housing Works, It Gets Better Campaign, Live Out Loud, Project Angel Food, GLAAD, and he is on the honorary board of the “Let There Be Hope” research foundation. Mike is also the communications consultant on The Men’s Sexual Health Project 36:00:00 for the NYU School of Medicine, as well as a recurring motivational speaker at New York University, The Harvey Milk School, the Art Center College of Design, Brooklyn International High School and the College of Design in Sacramento. Previous recipients of the Imperial Diamond Award include David Mixner, Lt. Dan Choi, and Hon. Christine Quinn.

The event is sponsored by: Google, ABSOLUT Vodka, Miller/Coors, TD Bank, Bioscrip Pharmacies, jetBlue, TD Securities, Elvis Duran and the Morning Show, Pop Chips, Barefoot Wine, and Eric Alt Salon

About the Imperial Court of NY

The Imperial Court of New York, a 501(c)3 corporation, is New York's most regal fundraising organization serving the LGBT Community for the past 26 years.  Part of a proud tradition, the Court has raised over two million dollars for charitable organizations including: ACRIA (AIDS Community Research Initiative of America) LIFEbeat (Music Industry Fights AID), Children's Hope Foundation, Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS, Bailey House, amFar's Treatment Register, Body Positive, and Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, among many others. www.icny.org

2012 Beneficiaries:  PFLAG NYC:

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays of New York City (PFLAG NYC) is the founding chapter of PFLAG, the nation’s foremost family-based organization committed to the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. Launched in New York City in 1973 by mothers and fathers who stood up for their gay children, PFLAG NYC started a national movement that now has more than 250,000 members and supporters in over 500 chapters throughout the United States. PFLAG NYC’s mission is to create a better future for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth and adults through a partnership of parents, allies, and LGBT people. http://www.pflagnyc.org/

New Alternatives:

This year’s Silent Auction will benefit New Alternatives for LGBT Homeless Youth. It was created in October, 2008 by a group of volunteers and professionals with experience working with homeless LGBT youth in various shelter and transitional housing settings. The mission of the organization is to increase the self-sufficiency of homeless LGBT youth to enable them to “go beyond” the shelter system and transition into stable adult lives. We do this by providing services such as case management, education services, life skills training, community-building recreational activities, opportunities for self- expression, and support services for HIV+ youth. Our guiding principles are those of harm reduction, youth development, and empowerment. http://www.newalternativesnyc.org/



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