Radiant Health Centers, a nonprofit organization that provides compassionate and comprehensive health services to all underserved individuals in Orange County, with a special focus on the LGBTQ+ community and those living with and affected by HIV, held its annual Gala on June 3rd in Costa Mesa, CA.
The event aimed to raise funds for LGBTQ+ healthcare equity. Co-chaired by Adrienne Matros and Zach Abrams, The Gala’s fundraising efforts were met with overwhelming generosity, resulting in nearly $260,000 in funds raised.
The night’s highlight was the presentation of the prestigious Radiant Compassion Award to Broadway star Javier Muñoz. Muñoz, renowned for his portrayal of “Alexander Hamilton” in the hit musical Hamilton, was honored for his contributions to LGBTQ+ rights and HIV/AIDS advocacy.
Diagnosed in 2022, Muñoz publicly disclosed his HIV-positive status in an interview with a major mainstream newspaper in 2016, just one day before he was set to take over the lead role in Hamilton. He has since added the role of advocate for those living with HIV undetectably to his resume, ever since.
“It’s rare that we get to stand just in our compassion, in that open-hearted presence,” Muñoz remarked in his acceptance speech. “I made it my mission to be clear and open about my sexuality and my HIV status — I was going to use my platform for all that it was worth.” He went on to give praise and thanks for the care and support Radiant Health Centers provides to the Orange County region, adding that it’s the same care that saved his life.
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“How else can we continue to truly reach inclusivity if we are not remaining in the light, thriving in the beauty of our humanity with integrity, strength, and love?”
GLAAD’s Senior Director of Communications, Tony Morrison, was last year’s Radiant Compassion Award recipient and presented Muñoz with this year’s honor. Morrison made headlines while he was a senior producer at Good Morning America in 2021, when he publicly disclosed his HIV status in a personal essay, sharing how it was a secret and burden he kept for over eight years.
The evening was attended by a variety of esteemed guests and advocates all working in support of Radiant Health Centers’ mission of providing comprehensive health services to underserved individuals in Orange County. The funds raised that evening will have a lasting impact on the community, advancing LGBTQ+ healthcare equity.
“We are deeply grateful to our dedicated supporters and generous donors who made our Gala an overwhelming success,” expressed Philip Yaeger, CEO of Radiant Health Centers. “Their unwavering commitment to LGBTQ+ healthcare equity has brought us closer to our vision of a healthier and more inclusive Orange County.”
More information about their initiatives can be found at www.radianthealthcenters.org.