Pride Picnic recap

By Michael Mahler

The 16th Annual Pride Picnic held on June 28 was a wonderful success! We had about 300 people join us, which ties with the all-time record for a local GLBT event that was open to the general public.

For their very generous donations, we would like to thank Zodiac Dinor, Zone Dance Club, Craze Night Club, Wal-Mart, Wegman's - Peach Street, Body Language, Papa Joe's Pepperoni Cafe, Say What? Productions, Papa Joe's Pepperoni Cafe West, Pepsi Bottling Group, Erie Sisters, Pie in the Sky Cafe, Jr's Last Laugh, Laughing Duck Bookstore and Coffee House, Erie County Department of Health, Crime Victim Center of Erie County, Inc., Two Friends Italian Market, Keva, and Max & Erma's for their very generous donations! Please support the people who support us!

Media coverage was by WICU TV 12.

Organizations represented at the picnic included Community Health Net, Erie Safe Kids Coalition, Erie County Department of Health, Drenched Fur, Pittsburgh Prevention Project, LBT Women of Erie, Erie Gay Pride, Inc, PFLAG, Erie Gay Business Alliance, the Obama ‘08 campaign, Planned Parenthood, American Civil Liberties Union, Kathy Dahlkemper for Congress, and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie.

Thanks to the Pride Picnic planning committee, that included Garry, Mary Lou, Jeremy Snyder, Gary Snyder, Jeff Hill, Michelle, Mike from the Zodiac, Dave Martin, David Shaffer and Brian.

Mary Lou did a fabulous job of organizing for children. We had a big jump in the number of people who brought their children, compared with last year.

Thanks to Jeff Hill, Garry, and Michelle for their terrific help with shopping and transporting. Thanks to Deb Spilko and James von Loewe for taking photos. Kudos to Erie Gay News graphic artist Mike Lipiec for designing the flyer not only for the picnic, but also the handout for the LBT Women's group. Many thanks also to Joe Totleben for help with securing donations and promoting the picnic.

Gary and Jeremy did an excellent job of running the kitchen the day of the event. Special thanks to Raven McClain and Paul who spontaneously helped out for most of the day, as well as Pat Rowley.

We believe one of the most important aspects of the picnic is creating a friendly and welcoming environment. Huge thanks to AJ Sementilli, Michelle, Bryan Atwater, Mike Kohler, Don Craig, Renee, Mark H, and Bruce Shrout for volunteering at the registration table and greeting folks with smiling faces. Thanks to Season, Chris, and Maureen Koseff for taking the face photos.

Huge thanks to Brian Lonyo for making the silent auction such a phenomenal success.

Performers included David Shaffer, Devin Redinger and Lottie Hatfield. Huge thanks to DJ Jason G and DJ J-Roc for running karaoke which was a delightful addition, as well as for providing equipment. Many thanks to the Laffans as well as the Covenant of Brighid's Haven for the use of the easy-up for the performer area.


Also view photos here.

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