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Our History

On April 11, 1992, 550 people dressed in their best packed the halls of the Boston Ballet. Their mission? To raise money for Fenway Health, to bring renewed attention to women’s health, and to throw a fabulous celebration of Boston’s vibrant LGBT community. The Fenway Health Dinner Party was born.

The Dinner Party’s name is a tribute Judy Chicago’s pioneering art installation. Chicago’s The Dinner Party is considered an iconic work of feminist art, depicting a large with place settings laid for famous women throughout history. In this spirit, The Fenway Health Dinner Party continues to uplift LBTQ women and honor their many contributions to health care for all.

On February 19, 1994, Boston’s Winter Garden was filled with hundreds of sharply dressed partygoers. The crowd was there for more than a good time, however – attendees had come out to raise money for Fenway Health at the first ever Fenway Men’s Event.

This yearly celebration of philanthropy and community soon became one of the hottest nights out for Boston’s LGBT community and its allies. A quarter of a century later, thousands gather each year to dine, dance, and support the lifesaving mission of Fenway Health.

1st Dinner Party
Date: 4/11/1992
Location: Boston Ballet
Chair: Deborah Heller
Awardee: Susan M. Love, MD

2nd Dinner Party
Date: 4/10/1993
Location: State House
Co-Chairs: Arlene Fortunato, Amanda Reed
Awardee: Boston Women’s Health Collective

1st Men’s Event
Date: 2/19/1994
Location: Winter Garden
Co-Chairs: Manny Berger, Michael O’Hagan
Awardees: Randy Price (local), Rod & Bob Jackson-Paris (national)

3rd Dinner Party
Date: 4/9/1994
Location: State House
Co-Chairs: Ann Sanders, Michelle Wheeler
Awardee: Mercedes Tompkins

2nd Men’s Event
Date: 3/12/1995
Location: Tremont House Hotel
Co-Chairs: Brian Glaser, Terry Keane
Awardees: Jonathan Scott (local), Greg Louganis (national)

4th Dinner Party
Date: 4/8/1995
Location: World Trade Center
Co-Chairs: Nannette Dumas, Liz Page
Awardee: Ellen Bass

3rd Men’s Event
Date: 3/3/1996
Location: Tremont House Hotel
Co-Chairs: Jonathan Goode, Richard Giglio
Awardees: Gary Bailey (local), Harvey Fierstein (national)

5th Dinner Party
Date: 4/20/1996
Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Brenda Cole, Adrienne Benton, Carol Roby
Awardee: Amber Hollibaugh

4th Men’s Event
Date: 3/2/1997
Location: Copley Plaza
Co-Chairs: Arnold Sapenter, Frank Scarpaci
Awardees: Harry Collings (local), Dan Butler (national)

6th Dinner Party
Date: 4/19/1997
Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Sheila D’Allessandro, Nan Ives
Awardee: Kip Tiernan

5th Men’s Event
Date: 3/1/1998
Location: Copley Plaza
Co-Chairs: Craig Caldwell, Peter Nee
Awardees: Gary Daffin (local), Steven Wilson (local), Tony Kushner (national)

7th Dinner Party
Date: 5/02/1998
Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Vengerflutta Smith, Charlotte Wilson
Awardees: Diane Laskin Siegal, Beverly Saunders Biddle

6th Men’s Event
Date: 3/6/1999
Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Kevin Vine, Oz Mondejar
Awardee: GBBC

8th Dinner Party
Date: 5/15/1999
Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Joanne Ayoub, Johanna Schulman
Awardee: Irene Rabinowitz

7th Men’s Event
Date: 3/18/2000
Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Wendell Chestnut, David Eaton
Awardee: The Honorable Jarrett T. Barrios

9th Dinner Party
Date: 5/20/2000
Location: Sheraton Boston
Co-Chairs: Kirsten af Klinteberg, Gail Ponzek
Awardee: Lois G. Pines

8th Men’s Event
Date: 3/10/2001
Location: Westin Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Skip Hughes, Doug Spencer
Awardee: Gary Burton

10th Dinner Party
Date: 4/21/2001
Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Jennifer Gorgone, Jamie Marchese
Awardee: Deborah Heller

9th Men’s Event
Date: 3/9/2002
Location: Westin Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Craig Caldwell, Andre Campagna, David Breen
Awardee: Chris Beckman, MTV Personality

11th Dinner Party
Date: 4/27/2002
Location: Westin Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Patti Brainard, Sheila Long
Awardees: Byllye Avery, Ngina Lythcott

10th Men’s Event
Date: 3/29/2003
Location: Westin Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Jeff Coakley, Philip Finch
Awardee: The Honorable David N. Cicilline


12th Dinner Party
Date: 5/17/2003
Location: Westin Copley Place
Chair: Nannette Dumas
Awardee: Suzanne Haynes, PhD

11th Men’s Event
Date: 3/13/2004
Location: Westin Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Sean Harrington, Michael Istvanko
Awardee: The Right Reverend V. Gene Robinson

13th Dinner Party
Date: 5/1/2004
Location: Westin Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Amy Hunt, Vengerflutta Smith
Awardee: Dr. Valerie Fein-Zachary

12th Men’s Event
Date: 3/12/2005
Location: Westin Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Marco De Thomasis, Norman Johnson
Awardees: David Collins, Michael Williams, creators of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

14th Dinner Party
Date: 5/30/2005
Location: Westin Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Sydney Mason-Barrett, Lisa VanZant
Awardee: Susan Troyan, MD

13th Men’s Event
Date: 3/11/2006
Location: Westin Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Scott Lavertu, John Pitfield
Awardee: Reverend Peter Gomes

15th Dinner Party
Date: 4/8/2006
Location: Westin Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Rebecca Schiff, Gail Tsimprea
Awardee: Hortensia Amaro, PhD

14th Men’s Event
Date: 3/10/2007
Location: Westin Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Dennis Duffy, Stephen Earheart
Awardee: Ronald M. Ansin

16th Dinner Party
Date: 4/28/2007
Location: Westin Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Adrienne Benton, Lisa Paine
Awardee: Nancy Norman, MD, MPH

15th Men’s Event
Date: 3/1/2008
Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place
Co-Chairs: John J. Buckey, A. Joseph Castellana
Awardee: Senator Edward M. Kennedy

17th Dinner Party
Date: 4/5/2008
Location: Westin Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Roberta F. Kety, Elizabeth Wu
Awardee: Jennifer E. Potter, MD

18th Dinner Party
Date: 3/4/2009
Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Keri Aulita, Kathy Truscott
Awardee: Lily Tomlin

16th Men’s Event
Date: 4/4/2009
Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place
Co-Chairs: John Basile, David W. Brown, James Lopata
Awardee: Andrew Tobias

19th Dinner Party
Date: 3/13/2010
Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place
Co-Chairs: June Kelly, Molly Goodwin, Deb Graeber
Awardee: Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin

17th Men’s Event
Date: 4/10/2010
Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Rich Gardner, Ben Perkins, John Prince
Awardee: Lt. Dan Choi

18th Men’s Event
Date: 4/9/2011
Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Jim Liddell, James R. Seligman, DMD, Richard Taranto
Awardee: Dr. Kenneth H. Mayer

20th Dinner Party
Date: 5/7/2011
Location: Westin Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Sheriff Andrea J. Cabral, An G. Hinds, Ann Rogers, M. Ed
Awardee: Catherine D’Amato

19th Men’s Event
Date: 3/3/2012
Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Jeff Dugan, Scott Kearnan, David Zimmerman
Awardee: Representative Barney Frank

21st Dinner Party
Date: 3/31/2012
Location: Boston Marriot Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Gina Savageau, Theresa Murray, Aimee Van Wagenen
Awardee: Urvashi Vaid

20th Men’s Event
Date: 3/9/2013
Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Brandon O. Smith, Matt White, John Winterle, DMD
Awardee: Mark Solomon

22nd Dinner Party
Date: 4/6/2013
Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Lori Griffiths, Pat Hamilton, Jenn Jones
Awardee: Ursula Matulonis, MD

23rd Dinner Party
Date: 3/26/2014
Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Cynthia Cahill, Jenn Jones, Sarah McCormack
Awardee: Elyse Cherry

21st Men’s Event
Date: 4/26/2014
Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Joseph Caputo, Robert Krasow, Matthew Thompson
Awardee: The Honorable Thomas M. Menino

22nd Men’s Event
Date: 2/28/2015
Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Justin Isaac, Brian Ramos, Joblin Younger
Awardee: James Morgrage

24th Dinner Party
Date: 4/11/2015
Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Lori Griffiths, M. Jane Powers, Angela Rappoli
Awardee: Judith Bradford, PhD

23rd Men’s Event
Date: 3/19/2016
Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Ryan Gosser, Stephen Martyak, Raul Medina
Awardee: Douglas M. Brooks

25th Dinner Party
Date: 4/9/2016
Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Lauren Matysiak, Kendra Moore, Carol Roby
Awardee: Attorney General Maura Healey

24th Men’s Event
Date: 3/11/2017
Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Steve Dyer, Ryan Gosser, and Maurice Maxie
Awardees: The Hat Sisters

26th Dinner Party
Date: 4/8/2017
Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Bren Cole, Beth Pilgrim, Diane Tucker
Awardee: Ann Maguire

25th Men’s Event
Date: 3/10/2018
Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place
Co-Chairs: John Basile, Andy Huang, Gregg Snyder
Awardees: Gov. Deval Patrick


27th Dinner Party
Date: 4/21/2018
Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Theresa Murray, Amanda Preston-Sicari, Katelyn Dolan
Awardee: Diana Nyad

26th Men’s Event
Date: 3/9/2019
Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Bruce Lewis, John C. Welch, John Wolfarth
Awardee: Byron Rushing

28th Dinner Party
Date: 4/6/2019
Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place
Co-Chairs: Maxine Jackson, Vanessa Marquez, Sherri McDonald
Awardee: Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley

29th Dinner Party &
27th Men’s Event

Date: 6/24/2020
Location: Virtual Event
Co-Chairs: Mary Beth McInerney, Dr. Jennifer Petter,
Ali Robinson, Taylor Brown,
Thomas Evans, and Taylor S. Harris
Awardees: Dr. Susan M. Love Award presented to
Rev. Irene Monroe and Dr. Thea James;
Fenway Health LGBTQIA+ Impact Award
presented to the FLAG Flag Football League.

 

The Dinner Party and Men’s Event 2020 were held together, for the first time, as one virtual gala due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Moving our signature events online allowed us to celebrate our LGBTQIA+ community safely.

Celebrating Our 50th Birthday

To help commemorate our 50th birthday year, Fenway held a free virtual gala celebration on April 28, 2021. The event featured Dr. Anthony Fauci as our keynote speaker and to look back at our successes and forward to the future. The night was a resounding success, with hundreds of attendees and a silent auction and fundraising challenge that raised more than $345,000 to support care and services at Fenway Health.

Weren’t able to attend? No worries! You can watch the whole thing, including Dr. Fauci’s speech, here. (Note: Program begins around the 42 minute mark).

As part of the program, we put together four videos highlighting our work and history.

Thank you to everyone who helped make the night such a rousing success!