CommUNITY Rainbow Run to honor Pulse victims, releases new medal design

By : Abigail Brashear
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ABOVE: Runners make their way through the streets of Orlando as part of the 2018 4.9k CommUNITY Rainbow Run. Photo by Jeremy Williams

ORLANDO | Registration has opened for the third annual 4.9k CommUNITY Rainbow Run, scheduled to take place on June 8. The event is hosted by Orlando Health and Nike, and produced in partnership with UCF’s DeVos Sport Business Management Program. Organizers of the 2019 Rainbow Run, which honors the 49 victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting by benefiting the onePULSE Foundation, have also released images of the run’s new medal.

According to a press release sent out by the onePULSE Foundation, this year’s medal is full of symbolism. Designed by the Yellow Shoes Creative Group at the Walt Disney World Resort and the onePULSE Foundation, the front of the medal is etched with a rainbow feature and the onePULSE logo in place of the zero in 2019. On the back of the medal is a pair of angel wings with 49 feathers, in addition to the quote, “We will not let hate win.” To top it off, the medal hangs from a white lanyard with 49 doves on it.

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The Annual Remembrance Ceremony—A Public Community Gathering

By : Maia Monet
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The onePULSE Foundation will host a public ceremony where Pulse still stands, now as the interim Pulse Memorial, to remember the 49 angels. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs will join community members, survivors and first responders as they honor those we have lost. Parking and accessibility information available at onePULSEFoundation.org.

Ringing of the Bells

By : Maia Monet
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Join the public gathering on June 12 at noon as the First United Methodist Church in downtown Orlando will ring its bells 49 times, once for every life lost that tragic day. In a sign of solidarity, multiple churches across the U.S. and the world will join in the ringing of the bells.

5.17.18 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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It’s easy to forget. I forget things all the time. In fact, I forget things so easily that I am pretty sure our sales director Danny Garcia uses it against me. He’ll say I approved something in a conversation we never had knowing that I will assume we had the conversation and I don’t remember it. It works for us.

I also get so caught up in day to day “adulting” that I forget what it’s like to be alone in a new city, to start a new relationship, to be a kid or to plan for college. All of which I have been reminded of this past month, and I love it.

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Looking back on a gay nightclub that almost wasn’t; looking forward after a massacre

By : Alma J. Hill
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The news coverage of Pulse is a 24-hour cycle of tragedy. Again and again, readers are forced to relive chaos and carnage. Images of the battered wall fill our news feeds, and the faces of the 49 float in and out of our consciousness on a regular basis. Bodies in corners, mothers crying in cars, candles in the rain; remembering Pulse has come to almost exclusively mean reliving the events of June 12th.

Rarely is the legacy of the club discussed. As an LGBTQ friendly space that had been operational for well over a decade, Pulse represented many firsts for Orlando. It was the first Orlando nightclub to feature a space even remotely similar to its famed futuristic white room (that changed colors). In 2013, it became one of the first gay clubs in Central Florida to give a Saturday night home to a Latin night. The club’s opulent interior garnered national attention, earning Pulse coverage in both Club and Mondo magazines.

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How the Orange County Regional History Center is helping preserve the memories from the Pulse shooting

By : Alma J. Hill
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It’s hard to wrap your mind around the Pulse massacre if you’ve lived in Orlando for any amount of time, but especially over the past year. On April 29, representatives from the Orange County Regional History Center – including executive director Michael Perkins and curator of exhibitions and collections Pamela Schwartz, among others – spoke to the difficulties of preserving the integrity and the heart of the tributes left outside of Pulse Orlando: the flowers, the candles, the messages and photographs.

If candles melted onto fabric, electric irons were employed to remove the wax. Dilapidated flowers, washed words, stuffed animals, so many pictures and flags and feelings had to be gathered to commemorate those who were killed in plain view, killed in a nightclub, killed for being LGBTQ or at least being friendly with those who were. It would be a delicate task of peeling photos from frames, flowers from vases and quilts from fences.

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Orlando remains united on the one-year mark of its most difficult time

By : Billy Manes and Sophia Mackrives
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In accordance with grief and tradition, Central Florida will be honoring the 49 lost at Pulse on June 12, 2016, with numerous events spanning more than a week.

This is by no means a complete guide to the memorials that will be going on – new ones appear daily – but this is a fairly broad guide for what it is you might want to do to reflect on that horrific day nearly one year ago. Likewise, we’re looking forward while looking back. If you visit actlovegive.org – Orlando United’s Day of Acts of Love and Kindness, a combined initiative between the county, the city, Pulse and other organizations – you will find plenty of ways to help in the ongoing cycle of trauma: volunteering, storytelling and donating. This is the part where you come in.

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Local blood bank turns to Pulse survivors in ad campaign

By : Billy Manes
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ORLANDO – A recent push for blood donations has raised some concerns in the gay community. On the days following June 12, people lined up around blocks to help save those who were not among the 49 killed onsite. Last week, OneBlood – Central Florida’s blood bank – began using images of five Pulse survivors in a campaign to draw in more blood. The problem? Gay men are effectively forbidden from donating blood by the Food and Drug Administration, despite the fact that all donations are carefully screened. That should not diminish the importance of blood resources, OneBlood says.

“The week of the Pulse tragedy OneBlood collected nearly 28,500 units of blood,” OneBlood vice president of marketing and communications Susan Forbes says in an email. “It is an unprecedented amount of blood to be collected in such a short amount of time. That said, ten days after the tragedy, 85 percent of what we collected had already been distributed to our hospital partners. As quickly as blood is donated it is tested, processed and distributed to hospitals. Usually within 2-3 days of a person donating their blood, it will be sent to a hospital. The turnaround is that quick, the need is constant.”

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6 months later, 49 killed at Pulse are remembered

By : Wire Report
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Relatives, friends and survivors of the Orlando nightclub massacre stood outside Pulse where candles were lit behind stars with the names of each of the 49 patrons who were killed.

They hugged each other outside the shuttered gay club in the early morning hours Monday to mark the six-month anniversary of the massacre.

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