One Big Event Is One Really Big HGLHC Event

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If you are going to celebrate the tenth anniversary of a gala, you might as well do it bigger than usual.

And that’s what the Hartford Gay & Lesbian Health Collective did Saturday by moving its annual “One Big Event” to somewhere really big, the Connecticut Convention Center.

“I love it, it is more elegant, more room, just feels more like a party,” said New London resident Roger Morrison, one of the hundreds people who turned out to support the collective at the anniversary gala that included auctions, dinner, dancing and quick-witted repartee by emcee and Mark Twain front guy,  Jacques Lamarre.

Co-chaired by popular businessman John McGarvey and CT1 Media vice president Nancy Meyer, the gala included a special guest, former Hartford Stage director Michael Wilson.

“It’s a great organization and a fantastic cause,” said Wilson, who left the local theater last year and is now in New York City. “And it feels good to be back in Hartford.”

Speaking of Hartford Stage, its quintessential Ebenezer Scrooge, actor Bill Raymond, who is one of the stars in its holiday classic “A Christmas Carol,” was also on hand. But kudos this year were for more than playing the Christmas-challenged, crotchety business mogul-turned-angel.

Raymond is in the new Steven Spielberg movie “Lincoln,” playing Indiana U.S. Rep. Schuyler Colfax.

“Spielberg is truly an impressive director,” said Raymond, who said the famed director approached him for the role after seeing him in “Michael Clayton.”

McGarvey was the host-with-the-most at the event, noting that he remembered the gala’s first year when a mere 225 people attended.

“Now we are over  500  and that’s part of the reason for moving to this bigger venue,” he explained. “We’ve seen a lot of milestones over the decade,” he continued, “marriage equality, the election of a black president and a 30th anniversary for the health collective,” he added, commending longtime executive director Linda Estabrook for her commitment and tenure with the collective. “We have a lot to celebrate.”



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