CORAL is puttin’ on The Ritz in March

Awards given at the 2022 Ritz in Springfield. CORAL will be giving out the 2023 awards at this year's gala. Photo by Tom Wray

The Coalition of Rainbow Alliances (CORAL) is working energetically to prepare for The Ritz gala dinner, one of the year’s largest events for the central Illinois LGBTQ community.

In its eighth generation, The Ritz is a casually elegant affair that features a three-course dinner, an evening of dancing, and a celebration of the progress made by the LGBTQ community during the past year.

The theme for this year’s event is “Together…Building Community” in recognition of the importance of every person and every group, working for inclusion, and opportunity for all. CORAL has been working to support all members of the LGBT community since its inception in 2000 and presents its annual community services awards at this dinner event. This year’s Ritz will take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield, IL from 5:30 until 11:00 p.m. on March 25, 2023.

“CORAL provides an outlet for LGBTQ persons to be productive volunteers, both within their community, and by reaching out to provide services to the larger community as well”, said Ritz co-chair, April Poole.  “This year we are celebrating the partnerships that have been created with social services, churches, businesses and government to improve life for people in Illinois and we’ll network too, to improve our services, and set new goals.”

CORAL has accomplished a lot since the 2022 Ritz dinner. In addition to hosting the first PrideNight with the Lucky Horseshoe’s baseball team, the annual Pride Picnic in June and the Thanksgiving dinner in November, the organization was a major sponsor of Springfield Pridefest, Decatur Pride, and mentor and supporter of Logan County Pride in Lincoln. Coral presented a float in the Junteenth Celebration, and worked to lend support to Black Lives Matter. CORAL supported programs at the Phoenix Center, organized and delivered Thanksgiving and Christmas meals with its community partners. Coral members joined with Habitat for Humanity to paint doors and woodwork at their latest “build”, and assisted the Springfield Jaycees with their numerous projects and events. CORAL will celebrate these achievements and the people who made them possible at The Ritz. 

The Coalition of Rainbow Alliances is a non-profit volunteer group that facilitates networking and community for the Central Illinois lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, their families, friends, and the interest groups that support them. CORAL supports the LGBT community by hosting a variety of events and service projects throughout the year. For more information, please contact Brian Sylvester at (309)824-9200 or [email protected].