ANT will be the featured performer at Columbia’s Business Guild gala.

COLUMBIA — What do you get when you mix scores of LGBT people, a nationally respected, openly gay comedian, the mayor of a state’s capital city, food and dancing? The S.C. Gay and Lesbian Business Guild Gala, of course.

On May 16, the Guild will host their annual awards gala with featured entertainer ANT at the Embassy Suites Hotel on Greystone Blvd. The event starts with a reception and networking hour at 6 p.m, followed by the gala program at 7 p.m. A cash bar will be available during the gala and an after dinner dance is scheduled from the end of the program until midnight.

The event marks the 15th anniversary of the S.C. Gay and Lesbian Business Guild, a well-established LGBT organization that is among the oldest gay groups in the state.

ANT has been featured on numerous television programs, including “The Last Comic Standing” (where he served as a judge), “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “The Tyra Banks Show.” He has also appeared on programs airing on VH1 and LOGO.

According to gala organizer Chuck Archie, ANT is also donating his time for a private luncheon on the day of the gala.

Archie told Q-Notes the Guild has donated 10 seats to the luncheon to the AIDS Benefit Foundation Dining with Friends Dessert Finale auction. A platter signed by ANT will also be auctioned off at the same fundraiser.

At the gala, the Guild will be presenting four awards, including the Freddie Mullis Corporate Member of the Year, Dan Burch Volunteer of the Year and Community Partner of the Year awards. A Trailblazer Award will also be presented to an individual who has “blazed a trail, broken new ground or achieved some historical milestone in our community.” Event nominations were due by Mar. 31.

Tickets can be bought online at Prices range from $60 for Guild members to $75 for non-members. Full tables of eight can be bought for $500 each.

Event sponsors include American Airlines, Asset Realty, Inc., Embassy Suites, Fastco, Q-Notes, Cap-n Al’s Hawaiian Sunglass Hut, Robin Ridgell & Marla Wood and Roof Basket Works.


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