Big Bash

Big Bash 2023 Awardees

Every year, Affirmations recognizes five community members whose work, generosity, and personal mission uplifts the LGBTQ+ community. Their dedication allows our center to flourish and protect our community. The awards honor different ways in which contributions are made, all of which are imperative for continued progress.


Jan Stevenson Award– presented to an individual for their exemplary commitment and contribution to the mission of Affirmations, the strategic development of programs and the overall success of the center.

Lorna Utley Outstanding Ally Award– presented to an individual who is an ally to the LGBTQ+ Community and supports Affirmations mission, programs, and center guests.

Community Hero Award– presented by Affirmations’ Board of Directors for inspirational leadership, advancing acceptance, equality, and inclusion.

Charles Moyer Philanthropy Award– presented to individuals who have a history of going above and beyond in their support of Affirmations and set an example of how important it is to be philanthropic.

Karen Dorgan Volunteer of the Year Award– presented to an individual who not only gives their time and energy but represents Affirmations to the Community in a positive and respectful manner.

Jan Stevenson Award

Michigan State Representative, Jason Hoskins (he/him)

As a first-term Michigan State Representative for the 18th House District, Rep. Hoskins has not been sitting still. With the co-sponsoring bill that expanded ELCRA to include the LGBTQ+  and banned conversion therapy for adults and children in the state of Michigan, Rep. Hoskins has continued his fight for justice and affordable and affirming health care for all.

Lorna Utley Outstanding Ally Award

Ferndale Mayor, Melanie Piana (she/ her)

Melanie Piana has proved to be an invaluable ally to the queer community. As Mayor of Ferndale, Piana has respected, upheld, and continued to grow our city’s reputation for being a safe haven for the LGBTQ+ Community.

Community Hero Award

Oakland County Executive, Dave Coulter (he/ him)

Dave Coulter is the first Democrat and openly gay person to hold the office of Oakland County Commissioner. His political trajectory and involvement with the community have centered around fighting for the rights and well-being of all his constituents. Coulter has been at the forefront of LGBTQ+ representation and has helped to pave the way for many more to lead and fight for the rights of our community.

Charles Moyer Philanthropy Award

Lynn Blasey (she/ her)

Lynn Blasey is an outstanding contributor to Affirmations LGBTQ+ Community Center. As a monthly donor, she exemplifies how constant support for our center at any level is imperative to keeping our doors open and our programs accessible. As a Hamtramck resident and hopeful candidate for Hamtramck’s City Council, Blasey is a much-needed advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.

Karen Dorgan Volunteer of the Year Award

Nathan Wright (he/him)

Nathan Wright has been a volunteer at Affirmations since 2021. Thanks to his generosity, we have been able to grow and expand the Lettuce Help Food Pantry. Wright helped broker partnerships with several organizations, allowing us to ameliorate food insecurity for over 250 families in our community since September 2022.

Big Bash Glow Up

September 23, 2023  |  6:30 pm – 11 pm
General Motors Auditorium | 460 W. Baltimore St,. Detroit, MI 48202

Last year was our comeback but 2023 is our GLOW UP!

Our biggest celebration of the year will include an incredible selection of local food vendors, a renowned DJ, an electrifying drag performance, and more. We can’t wait for our radiant community to show up and show out for this year’s bash! Tickets on sale NOW!

$150 per ticket. All proceeds go towards funding our center and programming.

Event Day Parking

There will be free self-parking in the Woodward Lot. Located on W Baltimore Ave. between Woodward and Cass Ave. Signage will be posted at the gate.

What To Expect…

Silent Auction

With great items up for bid in our silent auction, we want to make bidding and donating as easy as possible. This year we are using Charity Auction Today as your one-stop shop for bidding on fantastic items and donating to Affirmations.

It’s easy! CLICK ON THIS LINK TO REGISTER, VIEW ITEMS, BID, AND DONATE. The auction opens on Wednesday, September 20 and closes on Saturday, September 23 at 10:45 pm.

Please note that initial credit card registration may take a couple of minutes due to the secure verification process. Bids made after initial registration should go through instantly. We recommend that you register and add your credit card before the event. 

Enjoy electrifying performances by Michigan’s most dynamic drag queens- Belladonna Marz, Emma Sapphire, Golden O’Hara-Polo, Infestasia, Jezebel, Katrina Alexis Monae, Kourtney Charles, Krista Darrows, Perry Dox, and Rose Ritz.

Catering will be provided by Quiana “Que” Broden, owner and creator of Cooking with Que. The mission of this Detroit-based gem is to create a food culture that is as delicious as it is healthy.

Learn More

Duante Beddingfield has been arts and culture reporter for the Detroit Free Press for three years. He has been a journalist for nearly 20 years, in addition to being a jazz singer, salsa dancer, and award-winning actor. A longtime supporter of LGBTQ+ causes, he came out as bisexual in 2018 and continues to use his platform to bring positive attention to the community. He lives in Detroit with his wife, artist Caitlin Cartwright, and their two cats, Niles and Daphne.

A staple of the Metro Detroit DJ scene, DJ Nouveau is known for raising the energy of any event to the greatest heights. The success of our last event, Prom ReDeux, had a lot to do with the electrifying vibes they created all night long.

Learn More

Thank you to our sponsors!






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