Presenting … The 37th Annual Nicky Awards: SundayTop Highlights, Feature Story Thursday, August 23rd, 2012
The handsome and very popular Emmy Award-winning Fox5 news anchor, Matt Johnson will be the master of ceremonies at this Sunday’s presentation of the 37th annual Nicky Awards, which will be held at the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley Hotel. Johnson has interviewed many dignitaries and celebrities, ranging from President Barack Obama to Brad Pitt.
The Nickys, since 1974
In the 1960s and ‘70s, major cities in California started establishing community awards shows. In 1974, longtime social justice activist (and now city commissioner) Nicole Murray Ramirez established The Nicky Awards to honor outstanding achievement in San Diego’s LGBT community.
The Nickys are one of the oldest awards of their kind in the country. The first Nicky Awards were held at what was then Ball Express disco nightclub on Pacific Coast Highway. It benefitted the Metropolitan Community Church – itself having only recently been established at that point and the Gay Center.
The Nicky Awards have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for countless charities. The organization and awards program are now produced by a board of governors and is sponsored by the Imperial Court de San Diego. The Nickys have been hailed, honored and attended by governors, mayors and members of Congress.
Ramirez, because of a schedule that could no longer accommodate all of the activities of city commissioner and human and LGBT rights activist, completely turned over the Nicky Awards to a group of volunteers and fellow activists he called a “new generation of producers who have indeed turned the popular event into an Oscars-meets-MTV awards show, complete with red carpet.”
Along with red carpet, the maturation of the Nickys through the years has also brought with it golden statues and cutting-edge entertainment. Indeed, KGBT 10 News called the Nicky Awards the Gay Academy Awards of San Diego, while the Los Angeles Times hailed them as “One of San Diego’s gay community’s most important nights.”
This year I promise another fun and exciting night with show-stopping entertainment. The entire LGBT community, family and friends are always invited to the Nicky Awards. It’s an honor to have been entrusted to work as a producer and head of the Nicky Awards board of governors, and as such, personally extend a warm welcome to all San Diego LGBT Weekly’s readers.
Key recipients announced
The board of governors recently announced the 2012 recipients of the Nickys’ highest honors. The annual Mayor George Moscone Humanitarian Award will be presented to KPBS for its decades of covering the true diversity of America and its finest city.
The Nickys’ Harvey Milk Civil Rights Award, established in 1979, was the first award in the nation named after the late San Francisco city and county supervisor, who was assassinated in 1978 while serving as the first openly gay man to hold public office in the U.S. The 2012 recipient of the Harvey Milk Civil Rights Award is Shane Bitney Crone, whose video about the death of his partner went viral on YouTube, with more than 3 million hits.
A documentary film is being made about Shane’s life with his late partner Tom Bridegroom entitled, Bridegroom, An American Love Story.
The second annual presentation of the Michael G. Portantino Outstanding Media Award will be presented to David Mannis, publisher of Uptown News, Gay San Diego, Downtown News, and SDCNN.
Among the more than 30 Nicky Awards categories are Outstanding Organization, Bar Community Event; Outstanding Waiter; Outstanding Journalist; Outstanding Entertainment Group; Outstanding Community Activist; Outstanding Bank; Outstanding Female Personality; Outstanding Male Personality; as well as Outstanding Go-Go Dancer.
The red carpet portion of the festivities begins at 6 p.m., with filmed coverage to be presented later on the Internet. The Nicky Awards have become a fast-paced production, beginning at 7 p.m. sharp.
Tickets and proceeds
All proceeds from the 2012 Nicky Awards will benefit The Center, the Civil Rights Fund of the Human Dignity Foundation and the charity programs of the Imperial Court. There are still some tickets and tables available for this weekend’s big event and they can be purchased at the door.
As then Gov. Gray Davis said, “By showcasing excellence in the community, the Nicky Awards serve as proof that every person has something important to contribute; that each of us can make a difference. This celebration is a tribute to San Diego’s GLBT community, who work hard to improve the quality of life for all.”
For more information about the Nicky Awards, or for tickets, tables, etc., contact Allan Spyere at 619-300-1232; via email at email@example.com; or by visiting nickyawards.com. You can also visit and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/thenickyawards
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