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About this Event


Tickets are no longer available online. If you would like to make a last-minute purchase, please contact Denay Patterson at to inquire about availability.

The Bear to Make a Difference Gala on October 26, 2019 is an opportunity for community members, civic leaders and corporate partners to come together to support the work of the Matthew Shepard Foundation and those who share our commitment to a future free from hate.

An important piece of the Foundation's work each year is joining together with you at our annual Gala to recognize the work of individuals and organizations alike that have made significant contributions to promoting those core values of understanding, compassion and acceptance in their work and in their lives. This year will be an extra special Gala to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the signing of The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act. In honor of this 10th anniversary, the theme for this year's gala is Neon (the 10th element on the periodic table).

Our 2019 Honorees include former US Attorney General Eric Holder and actress Samira Wiley- Making a Difference Award, Anthony Aragon & David Westman - Dennis Dougherty Award for Community Leadership, and Seth Owen - Spirit of Matthew Award. Please join us on Saturday, October 26th for this momentous evening.

If you are a nonprofit employee, please contact Denay Patterson ( for special partner pricing.

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