Orlando’s Overheard: Love, honor and remember

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Love is Love

Earlier this year we mentioned that MegaCon Orlando —the Southeast’s largest comics, sci-fi and gaming event —in conjunction with comic book writer Marc Andreyko of DC Comics hosted the “Love is Love” fundraiser in honor of the victims from the Pulse tragedy.

Andreyko, you may recall, was the project organizer for the graphic novel Love Is Love, the oversize comic containing tributes to the victims of Pulse and celebrating the LGBTQ community.

The event, which included a book signing and photo op with Andreyko, raised more than $18,000. One hundred percent of the proceeds were donated to Equality Florida.

“The compassion and support shown by MegaCon and the contributors of the Love is Love comic anthology have been an inspiration,” said Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida.

Love is Love is available for purchase at idwpublishing.com.

Remembering Billy

The Pride Fund to End Gun Violence is honoring the late Billy Manes and his work in the community with the Billy Manes Memorial Fellowship, an educational fellowship that honors Billy’s lifelong commitment to political advocacy while also commemorating his mentorship and involvement in the Pride Fund. Billy was on the organization’s board of advisors and involved with the group at its inception.

“Billy was an integral member of Pride Fund to End Gun Violence and was one of the LGBTQ community’s most outspoken advocates. He touched so many lives as a selfless friend, community supporter and a willing mentor,” said Jason Lindsay, founder of Pride Fund.

Billy is also being remembered and honored with an event at The Beacham called Electric Barbarella: Tribute to Billy Manes, an 80’s new wave dance tribute to Billy featuring Smilin Dan on Aug. 30. Proceeds raised from the event will benefit Organize Florida and Planned Parenthood.

MBA Orlando wins big in Vegas

While celebrating 25 years, the Metropolitan Business Association was recently honored with the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Chamber of the Year Award at their International Business & Leadership Conference in Las Vegas. The conference is one of the largest LGBTQ community business events and drew nearly 50 LGBTQ Chambers from across the U.S., as well as several international groups.

The annual conference had over 1,200 attendants. 35 of those members were from MBA Orlando, making them the second largest Chamber group at the conference after San Francisco.

Lu Mueller-Kaul, president of MBA Orlando, accepted the award on behalf of the chamber at the morning session held at Caesar’s Palace. Congratulations to the MBA!

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