One Iowa’s 10th Annual Gala Sells Out Over One Month in Advance; 1200 People Will Gather to Celebrate Milestone Marriage Equality Anniversary and Future of LGBTQ Advocacy in Iowa

One Iowa, a statewide LGBTQ organization, will host its 10th Annual Gala Celebration on Friday, April 12 at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center. Cocktail hour will begin at 6 p.m., and the program will begin at 7 p.m. The event sold out over one month in advance, making it the largest Gala Celebration in the organization’s history with 1200 people expected to attend.

One Iowa started its annual Gala Celebration tradition in 2010 to commemorate Varnum v. Brien, the momentous Iowa Supreme Court case making Iowa the third in the nation to embrace marriage equality. Since then, LGBTQ Iowans and allies have come together each year to celebrate and honor the LGBTQ advocates working to preserve and advance equality for LGBTQ Iowans. This year marks ten years since that momentous decision.

“Milestones like this remind us that change is possible and worth pursuing,” One Iowa Executive Director Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel said. “They also provide an opportunity to reflect on our community’s past, reminding us whose shoulders we stand on as we continue fighting for broad LGBTQ equality. One Iowa’s work has expanded since marriage days to include workplace culture, healthcare access, leadership development, and so much more for LGBTQ Iowans. I’m excited to showcase the important work our organization is doing now and grow our capacity to make a larger impact at the Gala.”

“Coming together as a community to honor our successes, celebrate one another, and enjoy each other’s company is truly an inspiring experience. Selling out over one month in advance and hitting capacity for the ballroom is unprecedented for this event. It’s truly a testament to the pride LGBTQ Iowans and allies have in our community and their investment in our future.”

One Iowa’s 10th Gala Celebration will feature a cocktail hour, dinner, live and silent auctions, live music from horn-centric soul, rhythm and blues band The Tighten Up, and an awards ceremony honoring the work Iowa’s LGBTQ advocates have accomplished this year. Award-winning journalist Sonya Heitsusen of WHO-TV Channel 13 News will emcee the program. This year’s awardees include:

  • Donna Red Wing Advocate of the Year Award: OC Pride (Orange City Pride organizers)
    • Previously known as the “Advocate of the Year” award and renamed this year to honor the late Donna Red Wing’s incredible legacy of LGBTQ advocacy, this award honors LGBTQ advocates whose work has been exceptionally impactful
  • Courageous 6 Award: EerieAnna Good and Carol Ann Beal, victorious plaintiffs in Good v. Iowa Dept. of Human Services, the Iowa Supreme Court case that overturned Iowa’s discriminatory Medicaid ban on transition-related surgery on March 8, 2019
    • Named for the six courageous plaintiff couples in Varnum v. Brien, this award honors individuals who share their stories and subject themselves to public scrutiny to advocate for themselves and LGBTQ Iowans
  • Sharon Malheiro Award: UnityPoint Health – Des Moines
    • Named after One Iowa’s founder, this award honors companies and organizations who have showcased a strong commitment to using their power to improve LGBTQ Iowans’ lives

The event’s proceeds will support One Iowa’s mission to preserve and advance LGBTQ equality in Iowa. Sponsors of One Iowa’s 10th Annual Gala Celebration include Collins Aerospace, Dillenkoffer Foundation, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Principal, Tito’s Vodka, and UnityPoint Health – Des Moines among others. Tickets are sold out, but individuals can make a donation in honor of this milestone anniversary here.