By Dale Madison
Few individuals have been as vocal and visible as Terry De Carlo, a familiar face to both community members and colleagues in the non-profit sector, in which Terry has worked admirably and with dedication for two decades, with a focus on HIV-AIDS.
De Carlo, the Director of Development for Broward House (the county’s oldest and largest HIV/AIDS service organization), previously worked with Care Resource, helping to produce the nearly 30-year-old White Party, one of the world’s “crown jewel” circuit parties attended by thousands of hot international men who come to Miami for a magical weekend of dancing, food, and, of course, a few cocktails.
It would surprise many people who know of DeCarlo’s grinding work schedule that he lives with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), a condition that has reduced his lung capacity by 60 percent. But—like the Energizer Bunny—he just keeps on going. He helps organize Broward House’s successful community events, including the wildly popular “Amazing Race,” and “Broward Bares It” fundraiser benefiting persons with HIV/AIDS.
“We once again produced ‘Broward Bares It’ at the Seminole Hard Rock, and we once again had a sold out crowd,” says DeCarlo. “It is a major production. You just can’t put people out there on a stage—you have to rehearse and work with sound and lighting. It has to be done right,” he adds.XXX “Our first year, we had 3,000 people and then our next year we had to move to the Passion Room, and now, with the growing popularity, we hope this year to move to the Paradise Theatre,” he explains. “For me, it’s been a labor of love to see this grow.”
Like all great motivators, DeCarlo knows success, in life and work, is a team effort. “My rock is my husband, Bill Huelsman,” he says without hesitation. “We have now been together for 16 years, and he has been there every step of the way.” Are there challenges to a long-term, successful partnership, we wonder? “So far, there has been no ‘water-boarding,’” DeCarlo jokes, “and I love him to death.”
DeCarlo and the Broward House team have lined up world class entertainment to help raise community awareness for its projects and the clients it assists. As well as the smashing success of Typhoon Lagoon during June’s Orlando Gay Days, “We are bringing in Wanda Sykes for a [December 2] concert at the Broward Center, and we just booked Joan Rivers for June 2013,” he says with barely contained excitement. “Last year, we had a fantastic turnout with Margaret Cho, and each year we try to step it up,” he explains, and adds, “But, frankly, it comes back to one thing: We have to get the message out that HIV is still out there, and is still a threat.”
To learn more about Terry DeCarlo and the ongoing community efforts of Broward House, as well as its many fun and supportive activities, visit browardhouse.org.