Orlando Commissioner donates to Pride, youth scholarships

By : Jamie Hyman
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Orlando – City Commissioner Patty Sheehan is upping her investment in Orlando’s LGBT community and their youth.

Sheehan’s office has historically sponsored the Come Out With Pride parade with a $1,500 donation. This year, she decided to increase that amount to a $5,000 total donation, with $3,000 earmarked for LGBT youth scholarships.

“[COWP organizers] were talking about how distressed they were that they haven’t been able to do the scholarships with the financial difficulties they’ve been having,” Sheehan said, referencing the struggles the organization has faced after a leadership shake-up in late 2014 which resulted in the firing of the COWP executive director and an ongoing investigation into the organization’s finances.

“I think it’s really important that these scholarships are in the community, and I wanted to be able to help them out with that,” Sheehan said. “I think that’s an important thing to do in any community to recognize education and the youth.”

She said the money comes out of her office budget and its common practice for Orlando Commissioners to use those funds for scholarships for minorities.

“I’m glad to be able to do it,” Sheehan said. “Even though we’ve made a lot of strides in terms of marriage and everything else, there’s bullying, there are a lot of challenges LGBT youth are still struggling with. Anything we can do to help these kids is a good thing.”

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