Full of Pride
Greetings and Happy Pride Month to all from your friends at GOPAR!
It has often been said that LGBTQ+ individuals comprise the backbone of our area’s Theme Park and Hospitality Industries, and as such, GOPAR applauds those early participants in the workforce who navigated the trepidatious waters during a time when being “out” may have resulted in being legally fired from a position for no other reason than being who they were born to be.
It’s hard to imagine that that was ever the case when we now live in a unique swath of Florida that so openly embraces diversity in all its colors that makes up our celebrated rainbow community.
GOPAR recognizes that Pride events have nothing to do with sexual proclivities but rather that Pride is a time when LGBTQ+ individuals get to rally, march, or sashay as a demonstration of spirit and self-worth that is in abject diffidence of those who seek to marginalize and disenfranchise them simply because of who they are.
The current political landscape in Florida is seeking to strip the LGBTQ+ community of their hard-earned equal rights. This includes attempts to erase acknowledgment of gay individuals in our classrooms and the banning of books that recognize that some families may have two mommies or two daddies. It is important that now - more than ever - we support our LGBTQ+ friends, family, and neighbors as they struggle to celebrate amidst a growing threat to their very existence.
GOPAR celebrates diversity!
During this designated Pride month of June, all members of GOPAR are grateful for the contributions that LGBTQ+ individuals have made to our industries, our communities, and especially to our performing arts scene.
We wish EVERYONE a safe and Happy Pride!
Tomorrow: BMP’s PLAY IN A DAY To Have GOPAR Component
The annual Play In A Day event which raises funds to benefit the Beth Marshall Presents Top Teens Scholarship awards will present 10 short plays at Penguin Point Productions in the Oviedo Mall on this Saturday evening, June 11.
The legendary TAFFY will emcee the culmination of the challenge wherein teams of artists write, memorize, direct, and present short plays in front of a live audience that were created within a single 24-hour period. Play In A Day teams up some of the most recognizable names in our professional theatre community with up and coming talent. Co-produced with James Brendlinger, 100% of ticket sales and silent auction revenue will benefit the BMP Top Teens Scholarship program. There will also be a 50/50 cash raffle to benefit GOPAR!
$25 VIP (Reserved Seating and 1st looks at silent auction items and 2 extra raffle tickets)
$20 General Admission
GOPAR Financial and Charitable Status Report
Through a combination of individual donations made directly to GOPAR and funds collected from generous theater patrons during "pass-the-hat" collections taking place at many of our Partner-level theaters, GOPAR has dispersed slightly more than $82,500.00 in the form of bill payments made on behalf of those in need.
GOPAR has dispersed:
$26,571.83 in utilities assistance
$29,261.64 in auto-related assistance
$21,732.55 in housing assistance
$4,987.82 in medical assistance
GOPAR has recently received its 501(c)3 tax-exempt/charitable status from the Federal Government IRS. The Board of Directors is dedicated to establishing GOPAR as a permanent, year-round resource for entertainment professionals who find themselves in or approaching crisis.
We are pleased to report that GOPAR remains adequately funded at this time. We hope that all those reading this newsletter will help spread the word that this organization is here to stay, and that assistance is currently available. Anyone who is experiencing a loss of income due to performance cancellations, heath issues, venue closures, etc. need not wait until they find themselves in crisis before applying for assistance.
Anyone in need of assistance may apply by filling out a very brief, confidential, online questionnaire found HERE.
GOPAR thanks and acknowledges the unprecedented participation of St. Luke’s Methodist Church, which has not only hosted our website and facilitated the collection of funds on our behalf, but whose competent staff of well-trained advocates have provided personal care and an empathetic voice on the other end of the phone line when connecting with GOPAR applicants.
In the coming months, GOPAR aims to take on its own wholly-owned identity and presence independent of St. Lukes, but we are thrilled that St. Lukes will remain a valued partner in our efforts, and will continue to share their whole-person approach and resources with those individuals seeking assistance.
While GOPAR is financially solvent at this time it is essential that we continue to raise funds in order to facilitate our ongoing efforts. To make a donation or to apply for assistance, please CLICK HERE.