Fund to help Pulse victims grows to $17 million

This memorial to the victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre was set up at Orlando's Lake Eola Park. (Photo by Michael Freeman).

This memorial to the victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre was set up at Orlando’s Lake Eola Park. (Photo by Michael Freeman).


ORLANDO – The special fund created to help the victims of the Pulse shooting massacre has collected more than $17 million, and the City of Orlando is now setting up the process for getting that money to the victims of the deadly attack.
As part of that, the city has entered into a partnership with several organizations that serve the LGBT community, including Equality Florida, the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida and the National Compassion Fund.
These organizations will work to ensure that the funds contributed to OneOrlando get disbursed honestly, and they will also safeguard against fraud.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer noted that the amount raised is a clear indication that the Central Florida area has rallied together in the face of this terrible tragedy.
“Words cannot express how grateful we continue to be for the outpouring of generosity our community’s received as the people from around the globe continue to contribute funds to OneOrlando to deliver the critical help and healing the victims’ families and survivors need to aid in their recovery,” Dyer said in a release from the city. Continue reading

SBA opens Business Recovery Center in Orlando

The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts will be the host site, starting this evening, for a temporary memorial site dedicated to the victims of the Pulse massacre.

The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts will be the host site, starting this evening, for a temporary memorial site dedicated to the victims of the Pulse massacre.


ORLANDO – In the past, Florida’s state government has responded to disasters by making financing available for residents of the region that was impacted. Those disasters have included hurricanes, tornados, and heavy flooding caused by tropical storms.
This week, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced it will open a Business Recovery Center in Orlando, after the office of Gov. Rick Scott requested that the federal government issue a disaster declaration following the massacre at the Pulse nightclub on June 12.
Scott had asked the SBA to make the disaster declaration for Orange, Brevard, Lake, Osceola, Polk, Seminole and Volusia counties. When the federal agency agreed, it signaled that low interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans would be made available for businesses impacted by the attack, when a lone gunman killed 49 people and injured 53 others.
The gunman, Omar Mateen, was later killed by Orlando police after a three hour hostage standoff. Continue reading

Community theaters rally behind the Pulse shooting victims

The Winter Park Playhouse held a benefit fundraiser on June 23 for the victims of the Pulse shooting.

The Winter Park Playhouse held a benefit fundraiser on June 23 for the victims of the Pulse shooting.


WINTER PARK – In the two weeks since the horrific massacre at Pulse nightclub, Central Florida’s theater community has rallied behind the victims of the attack and their families, including hosting special performances that serve as fundraisers.
The Winter Park Playhouse hosted a special fundraiser for the Pulse victims, opening its doors last Thursday for what became a sold-out benefit event.
Through ticket sales, sales of drinks at their bar, and additional contributions made by the public, the musical theater at 711 Orange Ave. in Winter Park raised $7,262 that evening.
Heather Alexander, the executive director of the Playhouse, said the money would be contributed to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer’s new OneOrlando fund.
“We are so grateful to all of the 25 actors, the crew and staff, and the patrons who all donated their time, talent and financial resources to help benefit the victims and families of this tragedy,” Alexander said. “It just shows how much love there is in this wonderful community.”
Then on Saturday, the Footlight Theatre at the Parliament House, a gay resort in Orlando, brought together four celebrity LGBT comics to raise money for the Pulse victims, under the banner, “Let’s Face It, Orlando… We Need a Reason to Laugh.”
The show brought together comics Suzanne Westenhoeffer of HBO’s “A Bottom on Top,” Julie Goldman and Stephen Guarino of Logo’s “Big Gay Sketch Show” and Brad Loekle of “Fashion Police, World’s Dumbest” for this night of comedy, with 100 percent of the ticket proceeds going directly to the Pulse Employee Recovery Fund. Continue reading

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