MBA’s PRIDE GALA Business Awards changes date to accommodate Orlando Strong charity concert

ORLANDO – The Metropolitan Business Association (MBA) announced a date change for the 2016 PRIDE GALA Business Awards to accommodate the recently announced Orlando Strong charity concert being held at the Camping World Stadium August 20.

The Awards Gala will remain at the Sheraton Orlando North and will host a day earlier on August 19.

“The Sheraton Orlando North was so wonderful about us changing the date.,” says Deb Ofsowitz, a volunteer committee chair for Pride in Business. “They told us whatever you need to make this work just let us know.”

Ofsowitz is also the executive secretary for Come Out With Pride, a subsidiary of the MBA.

“Moving the date of the gala is a win-win for MBA and the wider LGBTQ community,” said MBA President Lu Mueller-Kaul in a press release. “It allows our members and sponsors to enjoy a top-notch gala experience, while also supporting exciting fundraising opportunities that are currently under development.”

The concert is a way to help benefit the non-profits that stepped up after the shooting at Pulse to provide funds and services to the victims before any money was raised through the fundraisers.

Among the list of those organizations are the MBA and Come Out With Pride.

“There’s a lot of money coming in to benefit Pulse and the victims and the community, but with the money not readily available to those who needed it, the community non-profits were stepping up to use their own funds to get services to the victims immediately,” Ofsowitz says. “This was a way to help those non-profits recover.”

The Pride in Business Awards Gala will be bringing back some of the things that have made this event a hit in the past, but will also be adding in some new touches.

“As we have had in the past, we will have a VIP reception before the dinner for the sponsors,” Ofsowitz says. “But we will also have a pre-reception for all the attending guests. That is something new this year.”

Another Gala favorite returning this year will be the dynamic duo of television news star Jorge Estevez and all-around superstar Miss Sammy hosting.

Edgefactory will also be producing the evening’s entertainment that will include the comedic styling of Jeff Jones, a performance from the Orlando Gay Chorus and show stopping number from Blue Star and Tod Kimbro.

Another new add-on to the Gala celebration is an official after party and, for those staying at the hotel, a poolside brunch the next morning.

“After the event, we have exclusive use of the Sheraton’s AnTobar Irish Pub until 2:00 a.m. for an official Pride Gala after party,” Ofsowitz says. “We also have private use of the pool for three hours in the morning so that we can host a poolside brunch party.”

The nomination process for the awards is currently underway and nominations may be made online at

“For the first time at the Pride in Business Awards, the voting is opened to all businesses , not just members of the MBA,” Ofsowitz says. “There are certain criteria to meet in order to be considered and the list of requirements are available at the website as well.”

The deadline for nominations is July 22.

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