HRC Palm Springs Garden Party Salutes Dedicated Duo

Arlene Rosenthal and Brian Wanzek to receive Advocate for Equality Award for their work in the LGBTQ communities of Greater Palm Springs.

Site Staff Current Digital, LGBT

The Human Rights Campaign's Palm Springs Garden Party will be held at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 3 at the home of HRC donors Jane and Mark Garrison.

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) will honor Arelene Rosenthal and Brian Wanzek Nov. 3 at the Palm Springs Garden Party presented by Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

The 19th Annual HRC Palm Springs Garden Party will run from 1:30-4:30p.m. at the residence of HRC donors Jane and Mark Garrison. Location will be given upon ticket purchase.

HRC is the largest national LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) advocacy organization with more than 2 million members throughout the country. The existing patchwork of legal protections for LGBTQ people in the United States leaves millions subject to uncertainty and potential discrimination.

Rosenthal and Wanzek will be presented with the Advocate for Equality Award given to members of the Greater Palm Springs community who have demonstrated a history of advocacy for the LGBT/HIV AIDS movement.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Rosenthal received a bachelor’s degree in Spanish at UCLA. After graduating in 1966, she worked for the Probation Department as a counselor and then as a bilingual teacher in the L.A. District. The lure of Berkeley and all the social change happening there was too great, so she picked up and left L.A. for life in the Bay Area. Rosenthal spent several years there teaching school and enjoying all the political fervor, the San Francisco Opera House, the Symphony, theater, and the entire natural outdoors where one could hike and commune with nature. She migrated to the desert in 1973, worked as a bilingual teacher until starting her own custom-clothing business.

Her spirit of community stuck and she found herself involved in social change and working in organizations where she could help bring change for those who were unable to advocate for themselves. After years of serving on many boards and raising much needed funding for them, she was asked to sit on the board of the Well in the Desert. After several years she became its President and today, continues to serve in that capacity. She is also serves as President of OperaArts, an organization created to provide quality cultural events to the public for free or for affordable prices.


Arlene Rosenthal

Wanzek, perhaps better known as Bella da Ball, has been a recipient of a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars;, received Safe Schools Desert Cities Champion for Youth Award for LBGTQIA; PrideNation Best Entertainer People’s Choice Award for years; Community Service Award from AAP-Food Samaritans; Volunteer of the Year from Greater Palm Springs Pride; named Desert Outlook’s Best of the Valley Ultimate Pride drag personality for years; received honors from Desert AIDS Project celebrating Everyday Heroes, and received Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce’s P.S. I Love You award.  Bella was the inaugural “Community Sweetheart” at the Palm Springs 25th Festival of Lights parade last year.  Bella hosts Drag Queen Story Hour at the Palm Springs Public Library and pens a social scene column in Rage magazine.

Other involvement includes Rainbow Youth Summit and Youth Prom; Palm Springs Pride and its Pride Cabaret Stage (Saturday and Sunday of Pride weekend); film festivals and Palm Springs International ShortFest; Modernism Week; Palm Springs Art Museum Meet the Museum; Arenas Road Halloween celebrations; AAP – Food Samaritan’s Oscar’s Night; Desert AIDS Project pageant and Desert AIDS Walk; Rancho Mirage Women’s Club, the Palm Springs Women’s Club and more.


Brian Wanzek

The event will be hosted by Brian Gallo, weather forecaster of NBC Palm Springs. Dinald Osbornem, who co-stars with Jay Leno on Jay Leno;s Garage on CNBC, will be the Garden Parrt aucitoneer.

Tickets start at $75 and include sumptuous passed hors d’oeuvres and a hosted bar.

Sponsors include: Presenting Sponsor Douglas Elliman Real Estate; Victory Sponsors ($5,000+) Alaska Airlines (national HRC sponsor), Morgan Stanley, Diageo, Contour Dermatology, Bruce Bastian and Clint Ford and Eisenhower Health; Leadership Sponsors ($2,500) U.S. Bank, Pirch, and Trio; Equality Sponsors ($1,500) Pjur Group North America, Contempo Lending, Gregg Seller and Blade Brandham, The Five Hundred, HK Lane, Desert AIDS Project, and media sponsors NBC Palm Springs, Palm Springs Life, Gay Desert Guide and Promo Homo TV.

For more information and tickets, visit