One Iowa Shatters Fundraising and Attendance Records at 8th Annual Gala Celebration

One Iowa, the state’s leading LGBTQ advocacy organization, hosted its 8th Annual Gala Celebration on Friday, April 7 at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center. Over 630 people attended the event and raised over $170,000 to support One Iowa’s work preserving and advancing equality for LGBTQ Iowans, making it the largest Gala celebration in the organization’s history.

“I am blown away by the passion and commitment our supporters showed at the Gala,” One Iowa Executive Director Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel said. “The Gala brings Iowa’s LGBTQ community and allies together each year for a night of celebration and recommitment to the cause, and the results this year were spectacular. This is truly a watershed moment for the organization, and I am excited and reenergized to continue our crucial work for LGBTQ Iowans.”

One Iowa hosted its first Gala celebration in 2010 to commemorate Varnum v. Brien, the momentous Iowa Supreme Court decision that made Iowa the third state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage. Since that celebration of Iowa’s legacy of equality, One Iowa has continued to host the Gala each year to celebrate the Iowa LGBTQ community’s successes in the fight for full equality.

One Iowa’s 8th Annual Gala Celebration included a cocktail hour, live music courtesy of The Freddy Gazzo Band, dinner, a silent auction, a live auction hosted by Miss Glam Iowa USofA Madison Cavalier, and an awards ceremony honoring the work Iowa’s advocates for LGBTQ equality have accomplished this year. Award-winning journalist Sonya Heitshusen of WHO TV Channel 13 News emceed the program. Awardees honored at the 8th Annual Gala Celebration included:

  • Liz Bennett, the first out LGBTQ woman to serve in the Iowa Legislature
  • Frederique Boudouani, an openly gay Muslim man in Elkader, Iowa who shared his story in a viral Upworthy video
  • Wellmark, Iowa’s leading health insurance company

All proceeds from the event will support One Iowa’s mission to preserve and advance LGBTQ equality in Iowa through grassroots efforts, advocacy and education. One Iowa’s 8th Annual Gala Celebration sponsors included Principal, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Wellmark and Veridian Credit Union among others. A sample of photographs taken at the event may be found here courtesy of Maharry Photography.