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Pride successes, appreciations

To the Philadelphia LGBT community:

Tradition dictates that we make a disclosure to you concerning the results of our 22nd Annual PrideDay Parade and Festival. Philly Pride Presents is in a different posture than any other community group because we serve to coordinate those events, as well as serve the community as an umbrella organization in June (PrideDay) and October (Outfest). Our financial viability is essential as we present the two largest networking events every year, giving you, the community, access to our variety of community groups, and giving those groups access to each other.

June 13 was a wonderful success despite the brief rainstorm (lasting about an hour). We had more vendors (groups/businesses) than ever at 135, and more paid attendance than ever. The parade was longer and more involved than previously, and we hope that all those trends continue into the future. The entertainment was better than ever, and Frank Moore “Prince,” Raven and Jennifer Coolidge (whom everybody refers to as Stifler’s mother) just brought down the house. Mainstream news coverage (TV, radio, newspapers) was exceptional, as was our extensive coverage by PGN.

Gate proceeds, alcohol sales and vendor fees permitted us to pay all our expenses and provided the seed money for Outfest 2010. We even have enough to replace our antiquated 1998 computer! The help from Congressman Brady and the Philadelphia Traditions Fund to pay the onerous burden of police services from the city was essential to our economic success. We also had rain insurance — which we buy every year — and it appears that it may indeed pay off this year.

The disappointments were minor and not financial: The Benjamin Franklin Bridge had a power failure, which prevented the rainbow lighting effects we were promised (they are scheduled for next June — and we already have a pink bridge for Outfest, as the entire month of October is devoted to the Susan G. Komen breast cancer events), and Penn’s Landing’s antiquated electrical system kept shorting out our rainbow sky puppets (we will have a generator for Outfest).

So, all in all, on behalf of the Philly Pride coordinators — we need more, by the way; come and join the board, (215) 875-9288 — and executive director Franny Price I would like to thank our community groups and the members of the LGBT community for making our event the success that it was. We couldn’t have done it without you!

— Chuck Volz Senior adviser Philly Pride Presents

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