Metro Inclusive Health announces annual party honorees

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Honorees Matthew McGee, Deborah Cox and Sabine Niehaus. Photo courtesy Metro Inclusive Health.

ST. PETERSBURG | Metro Inclusive Health has announced the honorees for its annual Cocktail Party, scheduled for Nov. 9.

Metro utilizes the annual event to fundraise for its many essential health and community services offered throughout Tampa Bay. The 2019 gathering will be headlined by recording artist and LGBTQ advocate Deborah Cox.

This year’s award recipients, including Cox, were chosen for their service, commitment and ongoing support of the LGBTQ community. Metro shared the following about each honoree:

Sabine Niehaus: Garry Breul Spirit of METRO Volunteer Award for 2019

As a not-for-profit organization, Metro depends on the support and assistance of volunteers. While there are so many to recognize, Sabine Niehaus has become one of the most familiar faces at Metro’s various events and community programs.

Be it swiping cards at the donation bar or helping to assemble pronoun buttons for Metro‘s health centers, Niehaus has a “no job too small” attitude and makes herself available at every opportunity. Not only that, she’s always there to show her support for our community initiatives including representing Keller Williams Realty at our hugely successful 2nd Annual LGBTQ+ Career Fair.

Thank you, Sabine!

Deborah Cox: Robert Pope Distinguished Leadership Award

Throughout history, allies have played such an important part in the fight for acceptance and equality among the LGBTQ+ community. Never shying away from using her success as a platform to show support, Deborah Cox has become widely recognized supporter of LGBTQ+ community. In April 2019, she received the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s NBIC Icon Award and the Luminary Award from the University of The West Indies. In January 2015, she received the Out Music Pillar Award. In 2014, she received The Civil Rights Award from the New York Senate for her efforts in the fight for Human Rights and Equality. The Harvey Milk Foundation at the 2015 Diversity Honors honored her for her efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the LGBT community. Most recently, she headlined World Pride 2019 in New York City on the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

For this, in addition to making us all grove to great beats and sway to soft ballads, we thank Ms. Cox.

Matthew McGee: Dr. John Barnett Outstanding Service Award

He can sing, he can dance and he can “drag” like nobody’s business. As one of the most talented entertainers in Tampa Bay, if not all of Florida, McGee has been no stranger to raising a hand and voice for Metro. From being the face of our Best of the Bay campaign and hosting Metro’s grand opening to lending his talents to numerous fundraising opportunities that support our LGBTQ+ community initiatives, in particular those living with HIV, McGee has always stepped up to support Metro’s mission.

Thank you, Matthew! This recognition is the least we can do to thank you for years of unwavering support of Metro Inclusive Health and those it serves in our LGBTQ+ community.

Metro’s Cocktail Party is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 9 and will be held in their 47,000 square foot headquarters in St. Petersburg. Tickets begin at $60 per person and include open bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres and a brief ceremony followed by an intimate 30-minute performance by Cox.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit MetroTampaBay.org/CocktailParty2019.

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