HRC Equality Dinner draws more than 400


"Everyday People, Everyday Families" was the theme of the 2007 HRC Nashville Equality Dinner, where more than 400 people celebrated at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel.

The energy in the ballroom was high as HRC President Joe Solmonese welcomed the guests. Also speaking was Donna Rose, Maria Salas, and Logo President Brian Graden. Nemesis twins Jacob and Joshua spoke, as did country singer LeAnn Rimes. Christopher Sanders, Marisa Richmond and Iris Buhl were honored at the evening event.

A large number of candidates for political office were present at the dinner, and were recognized from the stage by Maria Salas.

They included Karl Dean, David Briley and Howard Gentry, who are all currently running for Nashville mayor; Diane Neighbors, vice-mayor candidate; Keith Durbin, candidate for Metro Council District 18; Brady Banks, Megan Barry, and Richard Exton, candidates for council-at-large. 

Others in attendance recognized from the stage were: Juvenile Court Clerk Vic Lineweaver; Metro Human Relations Commissioners: Sonny Dixon, Jen Jen Linn, and Hershell Warren and Kelvin Jones, executive director of the Metro Human Relations Commission.

The evening started at 6 p.m. with a silent auction and was followed at 7:30 p.m. with the dinner program, which was hosted by WTVF NewsChannel 5 anchor Vickie Yates.

The menu for the dinner consisted of white bean salad; grilled filet and parmesan seared mahi; potato gnocchi; carrots and broccollini; and dessert that was a trio of fruit tart, orange cheesecake and triple chocolate cake.

The 2007 Equality Dinner committee was co-chaired by Margaret Ellis, Amos Gott and Billy Leslie. Jeremy Davis and Matt Dillman chaired the corporate sponsor committee; Tom Ekman and Tim Bennett, gift bags; J. Noble, marketing; Brian Copeland, program book; Bill King, registration; Debra Hyslop, Jerome Farris and Roger Gore, silent auction; Andy Howell, Rob Sikorski, special events; Keith Merrill, table captains and Peter Nielson, volunteers.

Nashville’s HRC steering committee consists of Brian Copeland, Jeremy Davis, matt Dillman, James Dimick, Deidre Duker, Margaret Ellis, Sam Felker, Amos Gott, Patrick Hamilton, Keith Hinkle, Billy Leslie, Keith Merrill, Peter Nielson, J. Noble, Jeff Rymer, Maria Salas, Rob Sikorski, David Taylor and Pam Wheeler.