City of Orlando, Orange County proclaim June 12 ‘Orlando United Day’

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: Artwork from Orlando County Regional History Center’s 2018 exhibit “Another Year Passes: Orlando After the Pulse Nightclub Massacre.” (Photo by Layla Ferris)

ORLANDO | Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, along with the Orlando City Commissioners and Orange County Commissioners jointly proclaimed June 12, 2019 to be “Orlando United Day.”

“As we approach the three-year mark of the Pulse tragedy, our community continues to honor the 49 innocent lives taken on June 12, 2016, and support the survivors and victims’ families,” said Dyer. “I am proud to join Mayor Demings to proclaim this June 12 as ‘Orlando United Day’ in the City of Orlando and Orange County and help show that we are still responding to that hateful act with love, compassion and unity.”

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Orange County Regional History Center opens Pulse-inspired exhibit

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | “Love Speaks: Artistic Responses to the Pulse Nightclub Tragedy,” an exhibition featuring artwork from across the nation created in the wake of the Pulse shooting opened at Orange County Regional History Center in Orlando June 8.

“These diverse works – from paintings to basketry to graphic novels – all pay tribute and serve to remember those who were taken during the tragedy and to inspire a better tomorrow for those who remain,” read the exhibits press release.

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PHOTOS: The 49 Fund announces scholarship winners at Orlando City Hall

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The 49 Fund at Central Florida Foundation announced its four scholarship recipients at a ceremony held at Orlando City Hall’s Rotunda on June 8.

Created in 2017 as a partnership between Central Florida attorney and LGBTQ activist Barry Miller and The LGBT+ Center Orlando, The 49 Fund awards scholarships of $4,900 to students who self-identify as an out member of the LGBTQ community, attend an accredited two- or four-year institution of higher learning on a full-time basis, earn a 3.0 GPA or higher and demonstrate a commitment to making Central Florida a better place.

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PHOTOS: CommUNITY Rainbow Run honors memory of the Pulse 49 with 3rd annual event

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The onePULSE Foundation’s CommUNITY Rainbow Run at Wadeview Park in Orlando had a huge turnout June 8.

The third annual event had hundreds of people walking, running and dancing for 4.9k through Orlando neighborhoods including down Orange Ave. in front of Orlando Health and the Pulse Memorial to celebrate diversity while honoring those 49 lives that were taken in the Pulse tragedy.

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NPR’s The 3 Wise Guys reflect on the three-year mark of the Pulse shooting

By : Scottie Campbell
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“The 3 Wise Guys” radio show brings together the voices of three religious leaders of seemingly disparate faiths—Imam Muhammad Musri, Rabbi Steven Engel and Reverend Bryan Fulwider—and finds common ground. The show has aired in Central Florida on 90.7 WMFE since 2012.

In the weeks following the Pulse shooting, in several episodes, The 3 Wise Guys tried to help us make sense of this senseless tragedy, providing comfort for many in the process. Watermark sat down with the trio to look at where we are now three years later. What follows is a shortened version of that conversation. An extended version will air on WMFE on June 11.

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Orlando remembers 3-year mark of Pulse tragedy this June

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | June 12, 2019 will mark three years since a gunman walked into the Pulse nightclub, killing 49 people and injuring dozens more.

Several organizations will hold vigils, memorials and events in and around Central Florida to honor the victims leading up to and on June 12. We have gathered information on a few and provided it below. Watermark will continue to update this list over the next two weeks with more events as information becomes available.

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onePULSE Foundation’s Barbara Poma discusses the future of the Pulse memorial and museum

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: Barbara Poma speaks during the two-year mark of the Pulse tragedy at the interim memorial. Photo by Maia Monet

ORLANDO | The onePULSE foundation announced March 25 that it is launching an international design competition challenging architects from around the world to create a unique and iconic National Pulse Memorial and Museum.

While the look of the final project will be left to the winning design team, the competition does layout three key elements that will be a part of the finished product: a memorial, a museum and pedestrian pathway known as “Survivors Walk.”

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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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Pulse survivor accepts position at Equality Florida

By : Abigail Brashear
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ORLANDO | Brandon Wolf, a 30-year-old Pulse survivor and LGBTQ activist, recently accepted a full-time position at Equality Florida as the Central Florida development officer and the statewide media relations manager. He says he is happy to pursue his interest on a scale larger than “weekend activism.”

“Equality Florida and I have always had a really strong relationship,” Wolf says. “There’s so much I want to be able to do to help my community and the state of Florida.”

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Melbourne police make arrest in faked bomb threat called into Space Coast no-labels bar

By : Lauren Lee
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WEST MELBOURNE, Fla. | The West Melbourne Police Department announced Feb. 4 that the individual who called in a bomb threat to Twisted Rooster, a no-labels bar in Melbourne, has been arrested.

The caller, identified by police as 18-year-old Randolph Goodwin, contacted Twisted Rooster on Jan. 31 at 4:45 p.m., asked if the business was open yet and if it was a gay bar.

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OnePULSE Foundation to honor Parkland victims at one-year mark of school shooting

By : Abigail Brashear
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ORLANDO | OnePULSE Foundation announced that it will begin honoring victims from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla. on Feb. 7 at the Pulse Interim Memorial.

According to a press release sent out by the foundation, a banner will hang at Pulse for “community members to leave messages of love, hope and support.” They will also tie 17 ribbons – one for each of the victims – on trees at the memorial.

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Come Out With Pride announces intent to host WorldPride during Pulse 10-year mark

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Come Out With Pride (COWP) announced in a press conference at The Venue Jan. 23 that they plan to bid to host WorldPride in Central Florida in 2026.

InterPride, an international organization that ties Pride together globally, brings WorldPride to major cities across the globe every two to six years. This year WorldPride will take place in New York City to coincide with the 50-year mark of the Stonewall riots. Several members from the COWP board will be in attendance at the event this June.

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