Sometimes awards are named after people who stand out in the community. The Eddy McIntyre Community Service Award is named for someone who stood out and stood up.
The breadth of Eddy’s interests and contributions across this community are legion. It was clear that Eddy understood the society we lived in was ours to create, even as it shaped us. Eddy understood that if he saw something needed, he could help make it happen. Eddy understood that community is a participatory and not a passive experience. And, of course, Eddy never sought any personal credit or acknowledgment.
But Eddy had no trouble giving recognition to others. As a founding board member of the Dade Human Rights Foundation, it was Eddy, along with his co-board member Rosemary Wilder, who envisioned an annual dinner to acknowledge and appreciate the service of some of the community’s leaders. Thus was the annual recognition dinner born, and tonight we celebrate its 21st anniversary—21 years of honoring many who have made wonderful contributions to our community. And though each one likely made his or her contributions without thought of recognition or thanks, they nonetheless received both.
Eddy received neither recognition nor the award, no matter how well deserved it was. He probably would have been embarrassed to receive this honor while alive, it seeming to him too unseemly to receive an award he had helped to establish.
But the fact remains that Eddy well belonged in that select group of honorees. So as we go forward, we want to be sure that each of the future’s honorees understands that he or she is in Eddy’s company.
The National LGBTQ Task Force Gala – Miami, and the GLBT Community Projects Fund at The Miami Foundation, which is funded by the net proceeds of this dinner, therefore named the annual Community Service Award as the Eddy McIntyre Community Service Award. And so by saying “Thank You” to others, we keep alive the spirit, the passion, and the empowerment that Eddy so selflessly shared with us all.
Adapted by Jerry Chasen from his remarks announcing the naming of the Award.