The Pride committee established four levels of giving, from $300 to $2,500, along with money raised by the annual Pride Guide, VIP party and other fundraising events, according to Pride Board Chairman Mark Fernandes.
Next year’s Miami Beach Gay Pride festival runs April 8-10, 2016.
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After seven short years, Miami Beach Gay Pride has grown into one of the most-anticipated events of the year, attracting more than 100,000 spectators to the parade and festival. To produce an event of this magnitude takes a considerable fundraising effort from sponsorships, grants and individual donations. This year, Pride is also unveiling its “Give Back” initiative where a portion of the proceeds from the Angel’s program will be donated to Point Foundation, the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for LGBTQ students of merit, announced Pride Board Chair Mark Fernandes.
The Angels program provides Pride much-needed funding through individual donations. Four donation levels start at $300 per person and top out at $2,500 per person. Angel benefits include VIP event tickets, reserved grandstand seating for the parade with open bar, VIP lounge access at the Pride festival, as well as recognition in the Pride Guide and on the Pride website.
“The community has been so generous to Pride and so supportive over the past seven years, that we wanted to do something to give back to the community,” Fernandes said. “Point’s mission of empowering young LGBTQ students to achieve their full academic and leadership potential – despite the obstacles often put before them – is a worthy cause that we are proud to contribute toward.”
Point has invested more than $18 million in education and support of 300 LGBTQ scholars since its founding in 2001, making it the nation's largest scholarship-granting organization for LGBTQ students of merit. The Foundation promotes change through scholarship funding, mentorship, leadership development and community service training.
Applications for 2016-2017 Point Foundation Scholarships are currently being accepted online through January 19, 2016, at www.pointfoundation.org/apply.
“The generosity and encouragement of the South Florida LGBTQ community means so much to Point Scholars from the area and those studying in the state,” said Jorge Valencia, Executive Director & CEO, Point Foundation. “Moreover, the entire Point Foundation family is excited to be part of Miami Beach Gay Pride’s 2016 events. It’s a partnership that celebrates the LGBTQ community’s achievements and helps expand educational opportunities for LGBTQ young people who are society’s future leaders.”
To become part of the Angels program, visit www.miamibeachgaypride.com/angels-program.
Since its inception in 2009, Miami Beach Gay Pride has grown from a neighborhood event to an event on the global stage with A-list celebrities such as Mario Lopez as Grand Marshal in 2015, Gloria Estefan as Grand Marshal in 2014 and Adam Lambert performing in 2013. Attendance has grown as well. An estimated 15,000 spectators turned out for the first Pride parade in 2009; an estimated 130,000 attended the event in 2015, which attracted not only South Floridians, but also visitors from throughout the world.
In addition to Parade spectators, last April’s event included more than 65 parade contingencies, 35 floats and 2,700 participants. The Pride Festival which followed featured more than 100 LGBTQ-friendly vendors and businesses, plus refreshments, two stages of entertainment, a family-friendly play area and fireworks. Recently, Miami Beach Gay Pride was named one of the “Top 100 Events of the Year” for the second year in a row by BizBash Magazine and won the Pink Flamingo Award for “Favorite Event” for the third year.
Miami Beach Gay Pride is produced with the support of the Miami Beach Visitors and Convention Authority. For more information, visit www.miamibeachgaypride.com.