When a Pride month like no other coincides with a global pandemic, it forces people to look around and ask: How can I help?
With our Pick-Your-Pic-Party Page fund-raisers this month, dozens of Gazette readers have done just that, raising thousands of dollars for two organizations supporting communities that are deeply in need: Meals on Wheels San Francisco and the Richmond/Ermet Aid Foundation.
Through $500 donations, participants including Dr. Carolyn Chang, Arlene Inch, Jerold Osato, Jennifer VanNatta and Doug Jackson (who was matched by his employer, the Gap) raised $9,000 for Meals on Wheels, a number that was then matched by Todd and Lisa Zabelle, totaling $18,000 for the organization. Meals on Wheels’ important mission of delivering food to homebound seniors has become a critical one since Mayor London Breed issued shelter-in-place orders in March to stop the spread of COVID-19, a virus that disproportionately affects seniors. Each $500 donation can feed an individual for one month.
With the help of San Francisco Pride czar Mark Rhoades, we were able to reach folks such as Ben Wong, J. Riccardo Benavides, Tanum Davis Bohen, Chip Zecher and George Kohn, who raised $5,000 for REAF’s tireless work supporting HIV/AIDS services and disenfranchised youth. The organization is also preparing to host its Virtual Summer Gala on July 18. Find more information at reaf-sf.org.
The coronavirus outbreak has upended the communities these organizations serve, but with the help of generous supporters (here’s looking at you!), they’ve been able to continue their vital work. Flip through the following pages to see some of the people who helped make this possible this summer. Thanks to Drew Altizer, who generously collaborated on this project by providing us with access to his extensive photo archive, we’ve been able to feature them in their natural, pre-pandemic habitats: Supporting the arts! Having fun at parties! The good ol’ days, right?
Those Honey Bears!
In honor of the 50th anniversary of Pride, local artist fnnch created one of his beloved signature honey bear murals at the SFLGBT Center, housed in the historic Fallon Building on Market Street. Known for his generosity — fnnch’s art has raised $129,000 for COVID-19 charities — the installation was donated by the muralist and pays tribute to the symbolic colors of the Philly Pride flag and the bisexual and transgender pride flags. On display until June 2021, so there’s plenty of time for selfies. Sweet!