“I Love the Pride Center, Because …” New Campaign to Build Awareness of the Center The Pride Center launches a new media campaign designed to raise awareness of The Center and the vital services, programs and activities it provides to the community. Titled “I Love the Pride Center, because …”, the campaign utilizes portraits of community members holding signs that explain exactly what about The Pride Center they value the most. During initial portrait sessions, renowned photographer Dennis Dean captured powerful photographs of community leaders, elected officials, entertainers, business owners, community activists and Center volunteers. Subjects in the photos display signs that convey specific reasons why they value the work of The Pride Center. Examples of the portraits accompany this article. “The campaign has two phases. The initial phase utilizes local print media, targeting the local LGBT community. Portrait posters will be displayed in the community, as well. The second phase capitalizes on expanded reach provided through social media. At community venues and events, individuals will be invited to have their photo taken for use on their profile pages of Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, to be accompanied by their reasons for loving The Pride Center. In this way, we aim to build increased awareness in a manner that is highly visible and cost effective” states Paul Hyman, Executive Director. Messages conveyed in the ad campaign are funny, touching, genuine and personal. Importantly, they express practical benefits provided at the Center, reflecting unique perspectives and shared values that unite us as a community. Photo credit: Dennis Dean Center to Host LGBTQ Senior Health Expo 150 Students Get a Fresh Start The Pride Center Donates Student Backpacks to Elementary School The Pride Center’s newly-formed young professional group, The Varsity Club, in partnership with Women in Network and the Gay and Lesbian Business Exchange came together for Judy Shepherd’s 6th annual Backpack Drive benefitting Thurgood Marshall Elementary School. A total of 153 backpacks, 325 notebooks, 400 composition books, 3,500 sheets of paper, 316 highlighter pens, 1,450 pencils and 24 boxes of crayons were donated. The annual backpack drive has demon- strated to the school that it can depend on the generosity of the LGBT community to provide backpacks and school supplies for those students who otherwise wouldn’t have the necessary materials to help ensure a successful school year. Thurgood Marshall Elementary School principal, Ms. Vega, has stated that over the last few years the school has risen to become a B+ -rated school which would not have been possible without the assistance of the LGBT community and the Pride Center. On October 22, The Pride Center will host the second annual LGBT Senior Health Expo. In conjunction with the Florida Assisted Living Coalition, SAGE and the Annie Appleseed Foundation, the Center will provide an exciting day of activities in the Main Hall of Building A. Better health is closer than you think – the LGBT Senior Health Expo will offer seniors a comprehensive overview of healthcare services available to the senior LGBT community. The Expo will consist of a trade show-format with various LGBT-friendly medical, professional and financial service providers eager to assist. More than 45 vendors will be on-hand to address questions and provide information needed to make appropriate health-related decisions. Medical staff will be on hand to provide featured health screenings, administer flu shots and more. Don’t miss out on the raffles and entertainment! A healthy and tasty organic lunch will be served on a first-come, first-served basis which is sponsored by the Annie Apple Seed Foundation. “Lunch & Learn” lectures will include important topics such as Medicare, HMOs, Sex and Seniors and more. Presented by 5 Star Senior Living and Willow Wood, the LGBT Senior Health Expo is free and open to seniors. Please RSVP by calling the Florida Assisted Living Coalition at (800) 939-2650 and provide them with your name and contact telephone number.