1997 Pride Picnic Wrap up

1997 Erie Pride Picnic family portrait jpg

by Michael Mahler (reprint from the July 1997 issue of Erie Gay Community News)

First and foremost, we should thank all the folks who made Pride Erie '97 such a success. Elaine Hill, coordinator of PFLAG-Erie, gave tirelessly of her time, energy and her own funds. Dave Mulholland helped with planning and setup. Marilyn Borawski, who moved back to Erie after 20 years, called me up a week or two before the event asking what she could do to help0 and dove right in. You go, girl! Thanks to Quality Markets-East Grandview, Wegman's-Peach Street, Tops-26th Street, Giant Eagl-26th and Peninsula and Coca-Cola for donating food and drink. Thanks to Clemens Zehender ("Clumsi Clemsi" the clown) for putting on a thoroughly delightful performance. (Clemens donated this to our community.) Many thanks to the Unitarian-Universalist Congregation of Erie for having a beautiful and deeply moving Interfaith Pride Service. Special Thanks to Rev. Terry Kime of the UU and Sr. Mary Louise St. John of the Benedictine Sisters for putting together the Order of Service and to Elaine Hill and Lyta Seddi for their contributions to the service. Kudos to Jeff Hill for cooking at the picnic (and dealing with the Burger Turner of Death.) Thanks to Eric Hetz for giving a ride to a young member of our community. Thanks to my husband, Micheal Miller for making signs, decorations, setup, clean up and putting up with me. Thanks to Deb Spilko for staying at the cabin when the site had to be moved to let others know of the change. Thanks to Marilyn Borawski, Paul Grubbs, Chris Young, and Dave and everyone who helped clean up after the picnic. And you know, as long as the list is, I am certain that there are people that I am still overlooking to thank, for which I apologize. I would like to thank everyone from out community who showed up and celebrated.

There were a couple of changes in this year's picnic from previous years. We had to move the site, as the cabin we had reserved had five inches of water on the floor. So we went with the pavilion by Beach 11. We also added a family portrait (group photo) at the picnic and an Interfaith Pride Service that we hope become permanent annual traditions. The attendance is hard to estimate, but we think it surpassed last year's total of 125. There were many new faces. as well as some old friends. Also new to this year, WSEE TV 35 did a story about Pride Erie, which ran on the Saturday June 14 news broadcast at 6 PM.

I am so thrilled and moved by how beautiful and diverse our community is. I am proud that we have picnics that people can bring their parents and their children to. Events that our straight allies feel welcome at. We have a lot to celebrate about pride in the Erie area!

This Year's Family Portrait of Erie's LesBiGay Community and its supporters was taken at the Pride Erie Picnic at Presque Isle's beach 11 Saturday, June 14th. There was also a Family Portrait that was buried in the Erie Bicentennial Time Capsule in 1995. (See article).

The people in this year's picture are...
1997 Family Portrait Legend gif

1. Micheal A. Miller, 2. Marilyn J. Borawski, 3. Deb Spilko, 4. Patrick Connors, 5. Ondi Lynn, 6. Jessi Chaffee, 7. Mark R. Ricker, 8. Malcolm Keiller, 9. Scott Keiller, 10. Dawn Blakley, 11. Vince Courtney, 12. Paul Grubbs, 13. Luella Clayton, 14. Eric Hetz, 15. Conrad/Connie, 16. Shannon, 17. Nancy Rickeard, 18. Robin, 19. Jim Tingue, 20&21. Jerry McCumber & Katey O'Hara, 22. Larry Sawdy, 23. Mary Keiller, 24. Robert A. Santos, Jr., 25. Dave Mulholland, 26. Dearick Lafferman, 27. Patrick McNamara, 28. Valerie K. Pettis, 30&29. Mary Kate McDevitt & friend, and 31. Michael K. Mahler.


Also view photos here.

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