Community heroes and celebrities will join members of the LGBTI community at the Honour Awards on Thursday night and battle over $80,000 in silent auction bargains.

Marcia Hines, Peter Morrissey, Andrew Mercado, Josh Flinn, and Trevor Ashley will join 24 finalists at the Ivy’s Sun Room to recognise outstanding achievements within or contributions to NSW’s LGBTI community.

Guests will bid on more than 60 silent auction items including a luxury holiday for two in Macau and a five-star trip to for two to New York with a VIP guest package to a taping of ABC’s The View with Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Walters.

There are also celebrity beauty treatments, clothing and accessories from Tom Ford and Abercrombie & Fitch, a private tour of the forthcoming Picasso exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW, premium tickets to Placido Domingo, Elton John and Dolly Parton, and a 12-month package of VIP tickets to Sydney’s leading cultural events.

Other auction items include dining and culinary experiences, art, furniture, mobile devices and professional services.

ACON events coordinator David Wilkins said the awards would be great way to kick off the inaugural Big Gay Weekend.

“We’re delighted to be launching the festivities with a truly memorable occasion not only for our inspirational finalists but for all our guests whose attendance we’ll be honouring with a really sensational celebration of our community,” Wilkins said.

Acing ACON CEO Geoff Honnor said money raised from tickets sales and the silent auction would help fund ACON’s vital work in the community.

“While ACON gets a significant amount of funding from NSW Health, that money can only be spent on work we do in relation to HIV/AIDS,” he said. “Our broader work in relation to GLBT health and wellbeing is financed by one-off grants, fundraising activities and donations.”

“To keep this important work going, we rely on the generosity of people and organisations in our community.”

Tickets are still available for the annual gala fundraising event, which will also be attended US performers who are in Sydney for the Big Gay Weekend.

INFO: Honour Awards,The Ivy Sun Room, Thursday, September 29, 7–11pm, $85 per head www.honourawards.com.au

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