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Central Florida Performers Raise Money For LGBTQ People, Nonprofits in Online Show Friday

Photo: Johnell Pannell @johnell_pannell
Photo: Johnell Pannell @johnell_pannell

Local performers will hold an online show Friday to raise money for LGBTQ nonprofits and individuals in Central Florida who are struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Drag performers, musicians, actors, and visual artists will perform in the two hour online "Stay In With Pride" show with the goal of raising $100,000 dollars for the Central Florida LGBTQ+ Relief Fund.

Come Out with Pride’s Jeff Prystajko who is organizing the fundraiser says half of the money will go toward LGBTQ charities. The other half will go to LGBTQ people in Central Florida.

“We want to make sure that we’re helping them do simple things like pay the rent, be able to afford food, or be able to take care of their family members. These things are really critical just to make sure that people are surviving right now."

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Joel Morales with the LGBT + Center in Orlando says anyone who is struggling with finances or healthcare can apply to get help on the GoFundMe event page.

"This relief is for people who may be not qualified for the certain relief that's out there right now. For those that are non-binary, people that are service workers, individuals who may be undocumented, that may not have the proper paperwork."

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One Orlando Alliance Director Jennifer Foster says the fund is crucial as she's seen an uptick in the demand for support services since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis.

"And what we were seeing within the Alliance is, among our 42 member organizations, was this influx of individuals reaching out saying, 'I need help.' People that were maybe reluctant to ask for help before are really, really in need right now."

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LGBT + Center Director George Wallace says both the show and the fund are a testament to the strength of the LGBTQ community especially during a crisis.

"One of the things that I have to say specifically about the LGBTQ community is our resiliency and coming together in a time of crisis. And I just have to say that the community is coming together and showing the world, not just Central Florida because it's an online program, the world our fantastic resiliency and our talent that resides here in Central Florida."

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The family-friendly show begins Friday at 8 p.m. on Come Out with Pride’s Facebook and YouTube pages.
If you'd like to listen to the story, click on the clips above.

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter and fill-in host at WMFE.
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