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South Florida LGBTQ Philanthropy Awards

Our Fund / South Florida LGBTQ Philanthropy Awards

2024 South Florida LGBTQ Philanthropy Awards

Presenting Sponsor

The annual awards reception will celebrate outstanding philanthropists who give of their time, talent and treasure to the South Florida LGBTQ community. Honorees and guests will enjoy a cocktail reception in the lower courtyard prior to the ceremony in the Mary Porter Riverview Ballroom.

“It is a privilege to recognize these inspiring philanthropists who bring our mission to life,” said David Jobin, president and CEO, Our Fund Foundation. “We are humbled and grateful for Bank of America Private Bank’s continued generous support which enables us to pay fitting tribute to these remarkable leaders who help make South Florida the most liveable and energetic community in the country for LGBTQ people.”

Saturday, February 3, 2024

5:30- 6:30 PM

Award Presentation
6:30 – 7:00 PM

7:00 – 8:00 PM


Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Mary N. Porter Ballroom
201 SW 5th Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312

Our Awardees

Michael Kalb
Philanthropist of the Year

Michael’s philanthropic journey with The Our Fund Foundation began with a conversation about his vision to establish a bricks-and-mortar LGBTQ-owned and managed facility to protect and uplift unhoused LGBTQ youth in South Florida. From that conversation, Michael drove a 3-year exploration of research, including a one-year trial 6-bed facility, that resulted in the development of the Sunshine Pride House, a 12-bed house in Fort Lauderdale slated to open in January 2024 and is owned by the Sunshine Cathedral Foundation with programs and services provided by local non-profits, FLITE Center and SunServe. Donating more in a single year than any philanthropist in Our Fund’s 13-year history, Michael’s vision attracted philanthropist Terry Merlin, who was on a tandem journey to create a shelter for LGBTQ unhoused youth. Michael’s leadership and leadership gift, along with Terry’s extreme generosity and leadership, made the Sunshine Pride House a reality. It is the intention with this $1M+ investment that the Sunshine Pride House will serve as a model to be replicated in South Florida for LGBTQ marginalized youth.

Niki Lopez
Commitment to a Cause Award

An artist, teacher, mentor and healer, Niki Lopez is known by many for the passion project she founded in 2014 – What’s Your Elephant – that uses the arts to create a safe space for life’s unspoken topics, including gender discrimination, sexual and emotional abuse, and other traumas. Her creative activism includes being a co-founder for Artists for Black Lives Matter, as well as 1310 Bandits, a nationally recognized, award-winning visionary team of female-led, predominantly LGBTQ filmmakers. Her extensive work has impacted LGBTQ and Afro-Latina communities, women/feminist groups, people of color and sexual abuse survivors.

Next Generation of Philanthropy Award

Spontaneously originating in 2020 during the height of the Covid lockdown, the volunteer-led FLOATARAMA, the country’s largest pride event on the water, has granted $125,000 to LGBTQ youth-serving agencies in South Florida. As importantly, FLOATARAMA has initiated a dialogue and awareness about the importance of philanthropy among a new generation of LGBTQ individuals. Founders Scott Schramm and Roderick MacKenzie are committed to expanding FLAOTARAMA’s reach and influence, and along with it, the circle of donors and supporters that make their work possible.

Larry Hyer
Dick Schwarz Award for Lifetime Achievement

Larry Hyer’s lifetime of support of LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS causes and his personal involvement as a volunteer and leader of numerous agencies have cemented his reputation as one of South Florida’s leading philanthropists. He supports a variety of LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS organizations, including SAVE, YES Institute, Equality Florida, the AQUA Foundation, Communion, and the University of Miami’s LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS programs. Larry’s work leading and supporting OUTShine Film Festival has been instrumental to the organization’s success as one of the country’s leading LGBTQ film festivals.