PHOTOS: Tampa Bay AIDS Walk had a tremendous turnout for its EPIC event

By : Jeremy Williams
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Tampa Bay’s 14th annual AIDS Walk & 5k was held Dec. 9 at the Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg, benefiting Empath Partners in Care, or EPIC.

In its 14 years, the event has drawn thousands of walkers and runners, with even more donating crucial funds to raise over $1 million to combat HIV/AIDS.

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Holiday Family Photos

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The holiday season is here! Melrose Center staff would like to invite families and groups to have their holiday-themed portraits taken in the Photo Studio. Come photo-ready and we will have the studio ready for your group photos.

Volusia County shows Pride at Old Fort Park in New Smyrna Beach

By : Jeremy Williams
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The crowds turned out for a day of LGBTQ fun and sun as they celebrated Volusia Pride at Old Fork Park in New Smyrna Beach Saturday, Oct. 22.

Dozens of tents and vendors were set up in the park as the attendees shopped, mingled and watched entertainment from local LGBTQ teen dancers, Central Florida Sounds of Freedom, Becky Brabham and the Orlando Gay Chorus.

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From Headdress with Love

By : Jeremy Williams
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Hope and Help’s 27th Annual Headdress Ball was a huge success in their new home at the Marriott Orlando World Center Sept. 17, as they raised a record setting $356,000.

The massive ballroom looked like the circus rolled into town with acrobats, dancers and drag queens entertaining at every turn. 

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Parting Frames of Empowerment

By : Jake Stevens
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The tone of issue 23.17’s cover story, “We Are All Mercedes Successful,” is obviously pretty heavy. We’re discussing the murders of 19 members of the trans community. How can it not be?

Death is no easy topic to talk about, especially when it involves the murder of your peers. We asked a lot of our trans brothers and sisters who gave us themselves for the story. We asked them to go to that mental place and tell us about the times that they didn’t feel safe. We asked them to stand in front of a camera and present an image of a person who’s fate they could easily share. We asked them to unapologetically present their authentic selves to the world through our readership and demand to be noticed. We asked for a lot. For some, it was understandably just too much, and I am especially grateful for all the people that made the decision to be a part of this story.

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PHOTOS: Hillary Clinton visits Pulse Orlando

By : Jeremy Williams
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Hillary Clinton visited Orlando July 22 to meet with the families and friends of the Pulse shooting victims, as well as meet with community leaders for a roundtable.

Clinton then paid an unannounced visit to Pulse with Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer and Florida Senator Bill Nelson to leave flowers at the memorial and pay her respects before heading to Tampa for a rally.

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Deborah Cox leads powerhouse performances at St. Pete Pride’s SP2 concert

By : Jeremy Williams
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It’s a good thing St. Pete Pride’s SP2 concert was outdoors because any roof overtop these ladies would have been blown off.

Deborah Cox – along with local performers Jennifer Real, Karmic Tattoo and Jami Gee – rocked the crowed in St. Pete’s Grand Central District June 24.

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St. Pete Pride gets an official kickoff at the Hotel Zamora

By : Jeremy Williams
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It wasn’t St. Pete Pride’s first event of the week, but it was the official kickoff party to start the weekend, and it indeed was that… a party!

The party goers gathered on the rooftop bar of the Hotel Zamora at St. Pete Beach June 23 to drink, dance and meet up with friends.

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Maks & Val Live On Tour: Our Way

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Maks & Val Live On Tour: Our Way

VIP Packages On-Sale Now
VIP packages may be purchased http://www.vipnation.com

Public On-Sale: 10 am, Friday, February 19, 2016

Maks & Val Live On Tour: Our Way is the thrilling all-new smash hit dance tour of the summer. Maksim and Valentin Chmerkovskiy, the hottest stars of ABC’s hit show Dancing with the Stars are coming to a theater near you this summer. The brothers are bringing to life the show they have dreamed about since childhood, combining an honest and unfiltered narrative of their life story, with the world class dancing, creativity and passion they are known for. Collaborating with the greatest choreographers in the business and supported by a cast of fellow professionals, the show will surprise and delight with timeless elegance and steamy seduction.

Maksim Chmerkovskiy commented, “Val and I have pushed each other to be better dancers every day since we were kids, and this show will fulfill a lifetime dream to perform on the same stage together across the country. We want to connect with our audience and take the performance to a whole new level. There will be no holding back on this tour.”

VIP packages may be purchased http://www.vipnation.com

ULTIMATE FRONT ROW VIP MEET & GREET PACKAGE
Price – $1,000

One premium reserved ticket in the front row, sit front and center!
Twenty minute backstage Meet & Greet with Maks and Val in their dressing room
Backstage toast with Maks and Val in their dressing room, including your own Our Way champagne flute to take home
Intimate Photo Op with Maks and Val in their dressing room taken with a professional camera
Custom 5×7 Our Way leather picture frame with your printed and signed Meet & Greet photo delivered to your seat
Access to pre-show VIP Party, including:
Green screen photo booth to capture additional photos of yourself at the VIP Party
One (1) drink ticket for the pre-show lounge (beer, wine, soft drinks)
Ultimate VIP Meet & Greet laminate
Autographed Tour Program with personalized dedication signed in front of you
Exclusive Maks and Val gift item
Pre-show merchandise shopping opportunity
On-site VIP host & ticket pick-up

FRONT ROW VIP MEET & GREET PACKAGE
Price – $525

One premium reserved ticket in the front row
Meet & Greet and individual Photo Op with Maks and Val taken with a professional camera
Access to pre-show VIP Party, including:
Green screen photo booth to capture additional photos of yourself at the VIP Party
One (1) drink ticket for the pre-show lounge (beer, wine, soft drinks)
VIP Meet & Greet laminate
Autographed Tour Program
Exclusive Maks and Val gift item
Pre-show merchandise shopping opportunity
On-site VIP host & ticket pick-up

GOLD VIP MEET & GREET PACKAGE
Price – $499

One premium reserved ticket in rows 2 through 4
Meet & Greet and individual Photo Op with Maks and Val taken with a professional camera
Access to pre-show VIP Party, including:
Green screen photo booth to capture additional photos of yourself at the VIP Party
One (1) drink ticket for the pre-show lounge (beer, wine, soft drinks)
VIP Meet & Greet laminate
Tour Program
Exclusive Maks and Val gift item
Pre-show merchandise shopping opportunity
On-site VIP host & ticket pick-up

SILVER VIP MEET & GREET PACKAGE
Price – $300

One premium reserved ticket in rows 5 through 20
Meet & Greet and individual Photo Op with Maks and Val taken with a professional camera
Access to pre-show VIP Party, including:
Green screen photo booth to capture additional photos of yourself at the VIP Party
One (1) drink ticket for the pre-show lounge (beer, wine, soft drinks)
VIP Meet & Greet laminate
Tour Program
Exclusive Maks and Val gift item
Pre-show merchandise shopping opportunity
On-site VIP host & ticket pick-up

Maks & Val Live On Tour: Our Way

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Maks & Val Live On Tour: Our Way

VIP Packages On-Sale Now
VIP packages may be purchased http://www.vipnation.com

Public On-Sale: 10 am, Friday, February 19, 2016

Maks & Val Live On Tour: Our Way is the thrilling all-new smash hit dance tour of the summer. Maksim and Valentin Chmerkovskiy, the hottest stars of ABC’s hit show Dancing with the Stars are coming to a theater near you this summer. The brothers are bringing to life the show they have dreamed about since childhood, combining an honest and unfiltered narrative of their life story, with the world class dancing, creativity and passion they are known for. Collaborating with the greatest choreographers in the business and supported by a cast of fellow professionals, the show will surprise and delight with timeless elegance and steamy seduction.

Maksim Chmerkovskiy commented, “Val and I have pushed each other to be better dancers every day since we were kids, and this show will fulfill a lifetime dream to perform on the same stage together across the country. We want to connect with our audience and take the performance to a whole new level. There will be no holding back on this tour.”

VIP packages may be purchased http://www.vipnation.com

ULTIMATE FRONT ROW VIP MEET & GREET PACKAGE
Price – $1,000

One premium reserved ticket in the front row, sit front and center!
Twenty minute backstage Meet & Greet with Maks and Val in their dressing room
Backstage toast with Maks and Val in their dressing room, including your own Our Way champagne flute to take home
Intimate Photo Op with Maks and Val in their dressing room taken with a professional camera
Custom 5×7 Our Way leather picture frame with your printed and signed Meet & Greet photo delivered to your seat
Access to pre-show VIP Party, including:
Green screen photo booth to capture additional photos of yourself at the VIP Party
One (1) drink ticket for the pre-show lounge (beer, wine, soft drinks)
Ultimate VIP Meet & Greet laminate
Autographed Tour Program with personalized dedication signed in front of you
Exclusive Maks and Val gift item
Pre-show merchandise shopping opportunity
On-site VIP host & ticket pick-up

FRONT ROW VIP MEET & GREET PACKAGE
Price – $525

One premium reserved ticket in the front row
Meet & Greet and individual Photo Op with Maks and Val taken with a professional camera
Access to pre-show VIP Party, including:
Green screen photo booth to capture additional photos of yourself at the VIP Party
One (1) drink ticket for the pre-show lounge (beer, wine, soft drinks)
VIP Meet & Greet laminate
Autographed Tour Program
Exclusive Maks and Val gift item
Pre-show merchandise shopping opportunity
On-site VIP host & ticket pick-up

GOLD VIP MEET & GREET PACKAGE
Price – $499

One premium reserved ticket in rows 2 through 4
Meet & Greet and individual Photo Op with Maks and Val taken with a professional camera
Access to pre-show VIP Party, including:
Green screen photo booth to capture additional photos of yourself at the VIP Party
One (1) drink ticket for the pre-show lounge (beer, wine, soft drinks)
VIP Meet & Greet laminate
Tour Program
Exclusive Maks and Val gift item
Pre-show merchandise shopping opportunity
On-site VIP host & ticket pick-up

SILVER VIP MEET & GREET PACKAGE
Price – $300

One premium reserved ticket in rows 5 through 20
Meet & Greet and individual Photo Op with Maks and Val taken with a professional camera
Access to pre-show VIP Party, including:
Green screen photo booth to capture additional photos of yourself at the VIP Party
One (1) drink ticket for the pre-show lounge (beer, wine, soft drinks)
VIP Meet & Greet laminate
Tour Program
Exclusive Maks and Val gift item
Pre-show merchandise shopping opportunity
On-site VIP host & ticket pick-up

Chicago man delivers memorial crosses to Orlando hospital for shooting victims

By : Jeremy Williams
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A man from Chicago traveled 1,200 miles to Orlando Regional Medical Center June 17 with 49 white, wooden crosses as a memorial to the victims of the Pulse shooting.

The crosses were lined up outside of the hospital that is currently home to those healing from bullet wounds from the attack.

People from across the city, including the doctors, nurses and hospital staff have come by and written messages of support on each of the crosses.

Donovan Spurlock, a 7-year-old at the hospital, paid his respects by laying a carnation at the base of each cross.

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A memorial to the Pulse shooting victims at Orlando’s City Hall

By : Jeremy Williams
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Orlando City Hall was turned into a memorial June 17 for the 49 victims of the Pulse shooting.

49 wreathes, each flower arrangement different and unique, encircled City Hall’s lobby. Every wreath had a picture of each victim with a purple banner with their name.

A guest book was placed at the center for visitors to sign and leave messages for the families and community.

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