By the SF Pride Board of Directors:
On behalf of the Board Directors of SF Pride, we are excited to welcome you to participate in this yearâ€™s San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Celebration and festivities throughout the month of June. We want to thank so many of you for supporting us with your time, your donations and, most of all, your energy and enthusiasm; SF Pride would not have attained such world class status without your continued contributions.
This yearâ€™s theme, â€śGlobal Equality,â€ť will showcase floats, entertainment and cultural events that represent our diverse communities across the continents and acknowledge the great strides made in every corner of the world for civil rights and LGBT equality. Despite setbacks this year, such as North Carolinaâ€™s ban on same-sex marriage and St. Petersburg (Russiaâ€™s 2nd largest city) passing an anti-â€śgay propagandaâ€ť law banning public LGBT events and demonstrations under the pretext of protecting minors, we can applaud Malawiâ€™s new President, Joyce Banda, who recently pledged to repeal the African countryâ€™s ban on homosexuality. We can also recognize the statements of support for marriage equality by our own President of the United States along with the venerable civil rights organization, the NAACP. With the recent rulings on gay marriage from the federal appellate courts in Boston and our home city of San Francisco, it is likely that the Supreme Court will finally have the opportunity to rule on one of the most momentous civil rights issues of our time. While we still have a long way to go, these successes give us the chance to celebrate what we have done as a community by remaining united to stand against discrimination of any kind.
As Board Members of SF Pride, we are frequently asked, â€śHow is Pride doing?â€ť We are very happy to report that we have paid down more than 70% of our $225,000 outstanding debt and have aggressive plans to fully retire this debt by the end of this year. We kept our promise to stabilize the organization by keeping all of the long-serving and experienced staff members and contractors while retaining the talents of the hard-working volunteer Board of Directors. The Board focused on the fiscal health of SF Pride by cutting expenses and waste, developing new revenue streams and keeping a close eye on budgets and financial details. Through all of this, we have never abandoned our core objective - to educate the world, commemorate our heritage, celebrate our culture and liberate our people.
We ask every person who watches the parade or enters Civic Center Plaza to please contribute at least $5 to the bucket-wielding volunteers; this donation is not an â€śadmission fee,â€ť but goes directly to help the many local LGBT and non-profit organizations that participate in our Community Partners Program and are recipients of significant grants from SF Pride. Last year, we gave back a total of $167,789 to 78 organizations; for some of these small groups, this represents a lifeline without which they could not survive.
Last year, this Board made a commitment to participate in fundraising and outreach. With the help of many contributors, we have organized multiple events and programs to increase revenue for SF Pride. We just completed our first SF Pride Board kickoff fundraiser entitled â€śBe Sceneâ€ť that filled the Great Room of the W Hotel with excitement, buzz and a crowd of members, volunteers, stakeholders and supporters of Pride who made generous donations. The funds collected at this event will be applied to the outstanding loan bequeathed to us last year by the Dorian Fund, a philanthropic organization that supports and advocates for Gay and Lesbian rights. Without this generous loan, SF Pride would have been under severe financial duress and could not have produced the 2011 SF Pride Celebration with the level of customary fabulousness we all have grown to expect and appreciate.
We ask for your continued support and participation in the SF Pride events and programs brought to you by the Board including: the VIP rotunda party at City Hall on Sunday, June 24; Pride Passes and City Passes that provide you with VIP access to SF Pride events and exclusive benefits at San Francisco restaurants, clubs, venues and events. These programs can be purchased on our website at the direct links: http://www.sfpride.org/pride-pass/ and http://www.sfpride.org/city-pass/, VIP party passes can be purchased at: http://www.sfpride.org/vip/. With your support of these Board-led initiatives, we can further strengthen the fiscal well-being of SF Pride.
Come celebrate with us this year. We have so much to be thankful for, but the fight for full inclusion and equality is far from over. Please accept our invitation to participate in Pride Month and the festivities of SF Pride over the weekend of June 22nd â€“ 24th. Go to our website at www.sfpride.org for the details on all the great events leading up to the Pride celebration. Drink responsibly, be safe, respect everyone, and help us raise money for the organizations and non-profits that do so much for our community and need your support.
With love and pride,
SF Pride Board of Directors:
Lisa L. Williams, President
Davace Chin, Vice-President
William Hemenger, Treasurer
Lou Fischer, Secretary
Reggie Johnson, Member
Lord Martine, Member
Eric Rosswood, Member