Friday, January 29, 2010

The Big 40 is Coming to San Francisco Pride

Imani Brown, Joshua Smith, Brendan Behan, Lisa Williams, Amy Anner, Jamie Fountain, Nikki Calma, Amy Andre, Troy Coleman, and Sydni Peeler.

The San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee presented a Town Hall meeting on Jan. 27, 2010, at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center. A room full of supporters, committee members, staff, volunteers, and lot of new faces heard speakers discuss the upcoming big year 40 of SF’s Pride events.

Board VP Nikki Calma, who is also known as Tita Aida — the Queen of the Shangri La Club and the API Wellness Center, served as MC. She spoke about the Stonewall Riot in Greenwich Village on June 27, 1969 — which marked the end of June as the annual weekend to celebrate Pride in San Francisco — with wry commentaries on the cultural fluxes of the succeeding eras. New executive director Amy Andre and board member Troy Coleman spoke about Pride’s anniversary and then deputy executive director Brendan Behan spoke eloquently for most of the rest of the meeting and he even encouraged a Q&A.

Behan placed an emphasis on the importance of volunteers, and he surprised the crowd with the fact that over 1,000 are needed to present the annual parade and celebration, and also for events through the year. And he spoke with palpable pleasure about the community partners that are the non-profit groups that sell beverages and work the entrance gates at Pride for contributions that have returned over $1.6 million for those groups.

One of the highpoints of the event was the news about a fabulous upcoming benefit kickoff for the Pride anniversary that will include dancing, entertainment, and an auction. And a special new Pride cocktail will be introduced in an ecstatic rite at the bar.

The yearly Pride Parade and Celebration are monumental events that draw a wildly diverse multitude of over a million people and tens of millions of dollars to San Francisco businesses. The Pride Committee deserves lavish credit for their time and efforts.

[Photo caption: 1/27/2010 — The Pride Town Hall Meeting at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center. Discussions included the 40th anniversary of San Francisco LGBT Pride and volunteer recruitment and benefits. Staff Imani Brown, board member Joshua Smith, deputy executive director Brendan Behan, board secretary Lisa Williams, staff Amy Anner, board member Jamie Fountain, board VP Nikki Calma, executive director Amy Andre, and staff Troy Coleman and Sydni Peeler.

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