Singer and TV personality Marcia Hines will be among a line-up of celebrities who will launch Sydney’s first Big Gay Weekend by attending this year’s Honour Awards.

Hines will join Foxtel celebrities and 25 finalists at The Ivy in Sydney on September 29 to recognise outstanding achievements within and contributions to NSW’s LGBTI community.

The awards ceremony and cocktail party, which is a fundraising event for ACON, will also launch New Mardi Gras’ Big Gay Weekend. Community members are encouraged to buy tickets to support ACON.

ACON events coordinator David Wilkins said the awards promised to be a glamorous night of celebration, commemoration and silent auction bargain-hunting.

“The chic environs of The Ivy’s Sun Room will make a wonderful backdrop as guests are treated to quality wines and beers, delicious gourmet canapés and great DJs,” Wilkins said.

“There’ll also be a silent auction featuring more than 40 sensational items, including a five-star trip for two to New York, a new wardrobe of bespoke suits, a private tour of the upcoming Picasso exhibition, tickets to Elton John, Dolly Parton and Dame Kiri [Te Kanawa] plus fashion items and dining experiences as well as art, furniture, mobile devices and professional services.

“We’ll even be auctioning off a consultation with Olympic athlete and celebrity fitness trainer Ivan Scannell.

“It will be 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.”

ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said money raised through tickets sales and the silent auction would help fund ACON’s work.

“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 — such as alcohol and other drugs, lesbian health, anti-violence, mental health, ageing, community care and advocacy — is financed by one-off grants, fundraising activities and donations.

“By coming along to the Honour Awards, community members, their friends and associates can celebrate the dynamic spirit of our community and, at the same time, raise money to help ACON build our community’s health and wellbeing.”

INFO: Honour Awards, The Ivy’s Sun Room, 7-11pm, September 29. Tickets $85 from www.honourawards.com.au

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