Downtown South businesses must make dollars out of senseless Pulse shooting

By : Nicole Dudenhoefer
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Orlando – About a month and a half after the Pulse nightclub shooting, Orlando is still tending to the emotional scars left behind by the tragedy. As the community tries to pick up the pieces, the financial struggles resulting from the June 12 massacre must also be battled.

While millions of dollars have been donated to numerous funds to help support the victims and their families, along with Pulse staff members who have been affected by the shooting, there is another group of people who may be in need of some financial relief as well: the businesses impacted by the Downtown South closure.

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Major Pulse funds join forces

By : Jamie Hyman
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Orlando – The GLBT Center, National Compassion Fund and Equality Florida are teaming up with the city of Orlando to distribute funds raised for Pulse shooting victims, survivors and their families.

The city’s fund is called OneOrlando and its total is not publicly published, but as of June 30, OneOrlando, EQFL and The Center combined had raised more than $17 million. As of July 6, EQFL’s fund stood at nearly $7 million and The Center’s total was $545,022.

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Shake It for METRO at the Flamingo Resort

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Let’s shake it while we raise the roof — our building needs a new roof, get it? — with a night of fun and dancing at the Flamingo Resort St Pete. There will be FREE shots and prizes!

Everyone enjoys a complimentary shot with your $5 suggested donation at the door.

There will also be a chance to win Raffle Items, generously provided by the Flamingo:
1 night stay at the Flamingo Resort
2 – $25 Gift cards
2 – $10 Gift Cards

**All Proceeds from the door and Raffle items to go to METRO.


This event is a part of our month-long community awareness campaign to help us raise capital for our renovations.

With the recent purchase of the St. Petersburg location building, METRO now needs the community’s support in raising the funds to complete required renovations to update the building and expand their essential services.

Read more about METRO’s expansion in Creative Loafing:

Overheard in Tampa Bay

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Drummer contest resurrected at Flamingo

It has been years since Drummer contests were the norm, but Woodie Barnes and Jeff McWhirter hope to change that. The couple hosted the DNA (Drummer North America) contest at the Flamingo Resort the weekend of May 2 and had six contestants. The contest had two divisions—Drummer and Boy. This year’s winners are Sir Rick, who took the Drummer title, and boy Carl, who had never been in a contest before. Both men will move onto the national Drummer contest next February.

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Fringe receives grant funding from Orange County

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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Orlando – The Orange County Commissioners unanimously passed a vote to provide the Orlando Fringe Festival with a $75,000 grant. Fringe, along with 25 other organizations, was approved for a grant Oct. 14 that is funded through the use of Orange County’s tourism tax dollars.

Fringe has been receiving this grant for the past couple of years, making Orange County the largest funding source for the festival.

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Guest column: The perfect storm

By : Marilyn Carifi
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Marilyn Carifi, MSW, is the Executive Director of Hope & Help Center of Central Florida, Inc.

Hope and Help Center of Central Florida has served people with HIV and AIDS for 26 years. In the past several months there has been major upheaval in the system of care for a number of reasons, most stemming from the Affordable Care Act. Most have heard of the website freezing, and the State of Florida refusing millions of dollars in Medicaid funds from the federal government which would have helped the people who are less than 133% of the federal poverty line. Here are the other issues you may not have heard before.

Hope and Help Center has been contracted by multiple agencies, primarily Ryan White Parts A & B and the Health Council of South Florida, Inc., to provide financial assistance to eligible consumers such that they can maintain their private health insurance without major financial burden.

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Disney severs support for Boy Scouts

By : Staff Report
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Orlando – Walt Disney World cut its business support of the Boy Scouts of America over the organization’s refusal to end its ban on openly LGBT adults acting as troop leaders and volunteers.

For years, the “Ears to You” grant program presented by Walt Disney World made donations to organizations that volunteered their time, which included a variety of Boy Scout troops. As was announced Feb. 28, it will no longer fund local Scout units in support of employees’ volunteer work. Walt Disney World’s corporate Standards of Business Conduct states the company itself and any other affiliates of Disney must not allow “any form of harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identification, national origin, age, marital status, covered veteran status, disability, pregnancy or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.”

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