BY BTL STAFF
Ferndale Pride distributed $25,000 in grants – the most funding it ever has distributed in a single year – to five local LGBTQ charities at Monday night’s Ferndale City Council meeting.
A $13,000 grant was awarded to the Ferndale Community Foundation, Ferndale Pride’s sponsoring organization. Four charities – Affirmations, the Gender-Identity Network Alliance, Matrix Human Services MAC Health and Transgender Michigan – received $3,000 each in grants.
“Affirmations appreciates the support from Ferndale Pride and Julia Music,” said Susan Erspamer, executive director at Affirmations, adding that the contribution is put towards covering the community center’s expenses during pride season.
Since its establishment in 2011, Ferndale Pride, which presents an annual LGBTQ pride street fair in downtown Ferndale and related events, has distributed more than $100,000 in unrestricted grants to local charities. This year’s festival was June 3.
“We are grateful for all of our festival sponsors and vendors, as well as the businesses and individuals who support our fundraisers throughout the year,” said Julia Music, chair of Ferndale Pride. “Their generosity allows us to provide a festival with no admission fee for attendees and to give back each year through these grants to local charities that better the lives of LGBTQ people.”
Music credited Andrew Shankles, fundraising chair, with helping Ferndale Pride to donate a record amount to charities this year.
“He really exceeded our expectations in his volunteer role,” said Music. “He organized record-breaking fundraisers that really brought the community out to give.”