Katie Couric, Dana Rudolph, Honored at Family Equality Council “Night At The Pier” Gala

Night at the Pier Gala raises over $1 million for Family Equality Council’s work towards lived and legal equality for LGBTQ families.

May 8, 2018 — For Immediate Release

NEW YORK — Over 800 guests gathered on May 7, 2018 at Pier Sixty in New York to celebrate Family Equality Council’s 13th Annual Night at the Pier Gala. Attendees enjoyed a night of entertainment and moving stories, and raised over $1 million for Family Equality Council’s critical work on behalf of LGBTQ families.

Family Equality Council honored award-winning journalist and bestselling author Katie Couric for her work to elevate LGBTQ visibility. The award was presented by Vanessa, JR, Ellie and Ronnie Ford, one of the families featured in the 2017 documentary Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric.

“I’m incredibly honored to receive this award from an organization that was so far ahead of the curve in fighting for the LGBTQ community,” said Katie Couric. “Family Equality Council has worked tirelessly to change attitudes and policies, and help us rethink what truly defines a family. As Dr. Oz told me after watching Gender Revolution last year: it’s hard to hate up close — the work that Family Equality Council is doing continues to be proof of that.”

Writer Dana Rudolph received the 2018 Hostetter-Habib Family Award in recognition of her longstanding commitment to writing and advocating for LGBTQ parents, at her blog Mombian, in media outlets across the country, and by organizing the annual Blogging for LGBTQ Families Day (now #LGBTQFamiliesDay). The award was presented by Cathy Renna, owner of LGBT communications and media relations consultancy Target Cue.

“I’m truly honored to have received this award,” said Dana Rudolph. “Being a parent is the most awesome, frightening, and joyous responsibility in the world. For me, it has meant teaching my son what he needs to thrive and trying to make the world a better place for him to thrive in. Family Equality’s work has made this task easier, not only for me, but also for many, many other LGBTQ families, and I am grateful for all that they do.”

At Night at the Pier 2018, Family Equality Council also honored the memory of one of our dearest friends, unveiling the first video stories produced with the support of the Ric Swezey Memorial Fund. Created in 2017, the Ric Swezey Memorial Fund is dedicated to telling the stories of everyday LGBTQ families in their struggle for lived and legal equality.

“Nick Scandalios, Ric Swezey, and their family have been heroes and spokespeople for LGBTQ families for well over a decade, and we are proud to recognize Ric’s life in our storytelling work at Family Equality Council,” said The Reverend Stan J. Sloan, CEO of Family Equality Council. “Telling the stories of loving families, and the joys and challenges they face, is a critical tool as we advance the cause of lived and legal equality for LGBTQ families across the country.”

Guests were also treated to performances from cast members from two Tony Awards Best Musical Nominees: Jelani Alladin and John Riddle from Frozen, and Erika Henningsen from Mean Girls, in addition to a performance from Tony Awards Best Featured Actress nominee Ariana DeBose.

View photos from the event here:


If you couldn’t attend but would like to celebrate the honorees and support Family Equality Council’s work, make a donation here: www.nightatthepier.com/donate

Family Equality Council gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Night at the Pier sponsors: (Platinum Level) McGill Caiola Family, Nederlander Organization, Thomas J Swan III; (Gold Level) Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, California Cryobank, Clockwork, Growing Generations, International Reproductive Law Group, The John Gore Organization, Playbill, Nick Scandalios; (Silver Level) Christopher Street Financial, Daryl & Steven Roth, Sixty Hotels, Target; (Bronze Level) Barry’s Bootcamp, Katia Bouazza & Primavera Salva, Brady Klein Weissman LLP, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Valerie & Jay Brown, Catherine Adler Productions, Disney Theatrical Productions, Flywheel, HBO, International Fertility Law Group, Johnson & Johnson Care With Pride, Maze Sexual & Reproductive Health, Jordan Roth & Richie Jackson, The Shubert Organization; (Partner Level) Burson-Marsteller, Olivia Travel & R-Family Vacations, and SALT Hotels.

About Family Equality Council

Family Equality Council advances legal and lived equality for LGBTQ families, and for those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change. Family Equality Council believes every LGBTQ person should have the right and opportunity to form and sustain a loving family, regardless of who they are or where they live.

# # #