PALM SPRINGS —A former mayor, a teacher, a retired Army Master Sergeant and a 43-year veteran drag performer are recipients of the 2019 Greater Palm Springs Pride Honors Awards.

The prestigious and coveted Pride Honors are presented annually to individuals to recognize their efforts in raising awareness and furthering the causes of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and their allies. The awards reception will take place Sept. 24 from  6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Hilton Palm Springs located at 410 East Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs.

The awards program marks the approach of Pride Week in the region under the worldwide theme of Millions of Moments of Pride.

Ron Oden

Ron Oden, Photo by Luis Gavela

A Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Ron Oden, who has been active in the community for thirty years.  He made history in 2003 by becoming the first openly gay mayor elected in Palm Springs.  His election also carried statewide significance as the first openly Gay African American elected to lead a California City.

 

pride honors

Ellen Wolf, Photo courtesy of Corlyce Olivieri, Corlyce Photography

The Spirit of Pride Award recognizes Ellen Wolf for enhancing the quality of life in the region by raising awareness to advance equality, promote diversity or celebrate the strength and talent of the LGBTQ community. By using her activism and business management skills, Ellen focuses her volunteerism on projects that advance causes close to her heart.

Jennifer JungwirthThe 2019 Friend of Pride is Jennifer Jungwirth a devoted mentor, educator and LGBTQ ally who has dedicated her life to help students succeed in their continued education and careers.  Jennifer has been a teacher at Yucca Valley High school in Yucca Valley empowering youth for the past 20 years.

pride honors

Joyce Oldham, Photo by Luis Gavela

The Spirit of Stonewall Community Service Award recognizes the positive impact Joyce Oldam has had in the community. Joyce is a retired Army Master Sergeant, who makes everyone feel welcome and is driven to bring people together, embrace self-expression and promote inclusiveness.

 

Tommi Rose

Tommi Rose

Tommi RoseFrom producing, directing, hosting and performing for more fundraisers than he can count, Tommi Rose is recognized as the Spirit of Stonewall Volunteer of the Year.

Recognized as the Advocate of the Year for working to raise the consciousness of race and racism in our community is author, radio show host and retired attorney Lauren N. Nile.

Lauren Nile

Lauren Nile

“We are thrilled to kick off this Pride season with honorees that educate, advocate, and inspire our diverse community. Together we honor the past and lift up each honoree,” Ron deHarte, president and CEO of Palm Springs Pride, said in a prepared statement. “As is our tradition, this is not a group that seeks attention or applause. They quietly serve and we are grateful for the profound impact they have had and continue to have in our community.”

Tickets are available online at by clicking here.  Proceeds from the reception will support the Pride organization’s efforts to foster Pride in and respect for the region’s LGBT communities.

Image Sources

  • Gay Pride: Shutterstock