Atlanta Pride issues plea for financial support

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The Atlanta Pride Committee emailed supporters today asking for their financial help to prepare for the 2009 festival.

The committee is reeling in the wake of the three-day Atlanta Pride Festival, which moved to the civic center and shifted to early July. Attendance dropped, income was reduced and the cost to rent the facility for the long weekend also helped break the event’s budget.

The Atlanta Civic Center, although attractive and well maintained, did not draw the typical PRIDE crowd. Donations collected during the event were much less than we had hoped.  In addition to that, we fell significantly short of our sponsorship goal. 

The email plea said the committee has funding to continue for six months, though in the weeks after the festival, two top Pride officials resigned.

The committee wants to raise $100,000 in the next 90 days and asked that 5,000 people donate $20 to reach their goal.

When all is said and done, the PRIDE Committee has enough in the bank to carry us for about four to six months. Yet, don’t panic.  The organization which has been putting on one of the country’s largest demonstration of courage, pride and activism for the past 38 years will NOT give up. Atlanta PRIDE 2009 will take place! We will need to scale back a bit, but our rainbow flags will fly again next year with your help.

The Atlanta Pride Committee’s email to supporters:

The tents were broken down, the parking lots were swept and the rainbow flags were folded and put away.  The Atlanta Civic Center doors were closed.  Atlanta PRIDE 2008 had ended.  The remainder of July was spent counting donations, paying bills and crossing our fingers. 

“How did we do?” was the question on everyone’s lips.

After all the accounting has been done, the answer is:  Not well at all.

The Atlanta Civic Center, although attractive and well maintained, did not draw the typical PRIDE crowd.  Donations collected during the event were much less than we had hoped.  In addition to that, we fell significantly short of our sponsorship goal. 
 
On top of our income deficit, we also had to incur the unbudgeted cost of renting space. This year, The Atlanta PRIDE Committee spent $60,000+ to rent the Civic Center rather than pitching our tents within the free confines of Piedmont Park. 

When all is said and done, the PRIDE Committee has enough in the bank to carry us for about four to six months. Yet, don’t panic.  The organization which has been putting on one of the country’s largest demonstration of courage, pride and activism for the past 38 years will NOT give up. Atlanta PRIDE 2009 will take place! We will need to scale back a bit, but our rainbow flags will fly again next year with your help.

The Atlanta Pride Committee needs your support of both cash and physical participation.  We ask you, the Atlanta community, to make both a financial and time commitment to helping us prepare for next year.

Our goal is to raise $100,000 in the next 90 days.

If 5,000 people will go to atlantapride.org and make a donation of $20.00, it will insure that planning for next year will be on track.   Please join the “5000 Foundation” by clicking on the link on our homepage or by sending a check to Atlanta PRIDE Committee, 2300 Henderson Mill Road, Suite 125, Atlanta GA, 30345.  

A donation of $25 gets you a free T-shirt while supplies last!

While you are at the website, sign up for our Newsletter to keep abreast of how you can volunteer your time and talents.  The more Atlanta PRIDE 2009 can find support through donated time and resources, the better we can make the event a truly community-sponsored event!

Over the years, many people have written to thank us for producing the Atlanta PRIDE Festival year after year.  They have shared stories of abandonment, exclusion and loneliness and how a day underneath the rainbow flags can help build new stories of discovery, inclusion and friendship for them. 

Let the Atlanta community, in all its amazing diversity, take pride in what we can all offer those still needing the creation of a safe atmosphere to celebrate their uniqueness. Let’s look into our hearts and find the courage, the pride and the activism to make PRIDE 2009 the most well-attended and supported pride ever.

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