Saturday, August 11, 2012

Carlton Hardy to receive the Equality Virginia Award at the 2012 EV Legend Gala.

On November 10, 2012 Equality Virginia (EV) will honor Carlton Hardy and as the 2012 EV Legend at its 7th annual “Legend Gala”.  Carlton joins past honorees Cynthia Cutler, Claus Ihleman, Laurel Quarberg and Sarah Munford, Senator Yvonne Miller, Bill Griggs and Ann Dearsley Vernon as exemplars in the continued fight for equality for all Virginians.  This year, Equality Virginia is also honoring ACCESS Aids Care with the third Community Legend Award.

Nominations were collected from members of the community-at-large.  The Honorees have demonstrated outstanding leadership, courage and commitment to promoting social justice issues such as diversity, equality and human rights.   They have also made significant contributions to the LGBT community and the greater Hampton Roads community-at-large through their professional activities and volunteer efforts in education, the environment, social justice, regionalism, health and public safety, the arts and culture, or the economy.  The Honorees exemplify the values and mission of Equality Virginia . . . “a truly inclusive Commonwealth where all are equally welcomed and valued.“

The 2012 EV Legend, Carlton Hardy, is known throughout the Hampton Roads community as one who for over 30 years has given back in many ways.  Carlton has been a leader in change not just within the LGBT community, but also with business and political campaigns that have shaped our area. Michael Whitehurst, Chair, EV Legends Nominating Committee noted that: “These Honorees exemplify the cause that we stand for by working for many years on behalf of both the LGBT community, and all residents of Hampton Roads.”   Mr. Whitehurst noted that Carlton, a retired Civil Servant, “has participated in numerous organizations and fundraising events on both the Peninsula and the Southside.  He has displayed leadership by volunteering time and resources to many groups across Hampton Roads.  A few of the groups he has assisted are: Virginians for Justice (now Equality Virginia), PACT, Hampton Roads Business OutReach, the Cultural Alliance of Greater Hampton Roads, the Peninsula Fine Arts Center, the Hampton Roads Men’s Chorus, ACCESS Aids Care, the Newsome House Museum and Cultural Center Foundation, the Virginia Choral Society, and the Leadership Institute of the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce.”

The third EV Community Legend honors ACCESS Aids Care, Stacie Walls-Beegle, Executive Director.  Beginning in 1989 as CANDII (Children’s AIDS Network) and Full Circle AIDS Hospice Support, the two groups worked to better the community and those who were living with or were affected by AIDS.  In 2006 these agencies merged and ACCESS Aids Care was formed.  For more than 20 years this community group has provided awareness and support services to the Hampton Roads community.  In 2010-2011 ACCESS Aids Care served over 500 youth and adults, served 12,000 meals to families and individuals, provided over 6,000 rides to medical appointments, and reached over 5,000 individuals through educational outreach.  The new LGBT Community Center provides meeting space and a sense of community for groups and individuals.

The EV Legend award, now in its 7th year, is a fund-raising event for Equality Virginia and continued efforts to promote equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Virginians.  Equality Virginia, founded in 1989 as Virginians for Justice, is a statewide, non-partisan, education, outreach and advocacy organization.  Its work includes research, voter education and advocacy on a broad range of issues of concern to LGBT Virginians including workplace discrimination, marriage and relationship recognition and anti-violence programs.

Last year’s event, held at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) was attended by over 180 and raised more than $25,000 for Equality Virginia.  The wide ranging network of friends, associates and admirers of this year’s Honorees set the stage for the 2012 event to far exceed last year’s goal.  Sponsorship levels for the 2012 gala range from $500 to $5000.  For more information contact Sarah Murphy or Paul Meadors, Steering Committee Co-Chairs, at or go to

The Equality Virginia Board of Directors and the Legend Steering Committee are proud to honor Carlton Hardy and ACCESS Aids Care as this year’s Legend and Community Legend.  It is their dedication and selfless commitment to our ideals that gives hope of one day achieving a truly inclusive Commonwealth for all Virginians.

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