MSF Newsletter Summer 2010

Page 1

N E W S L E T T E R S u m m er 2011

1530 Blake St, Suite 200 Denver, CO 80202


BBVA Compass Bank Donates to MSF on Account Holders’ Behalf

Matthew Shepard Foundation Gets New Offices, Open House July 12 The Matthew Shepard Foundation is excited to announce we are moving! Beginning in July, MSF offices will be located at 1530 Blake Street, Suite 200, Denver. The new office spaces will give MSF the space it needs to continue to grow and offer new services and programs. MSF will still be in a convinient downtown Denver location, but will have nearly twice the space it has now. “This move is a long-needed transition,” said Executive Director Jason Marsden. “As our work has evolved and grown, the need for more space has become obvious. Our new offices will help us continue with our important work.” MSF invites you to stop by and check out the new offices. MSF staff will be hosting an open house to show off the new office on July 12, 2011, from 4:00 to 6:30. Stop by!

BBVA Compass will provide bonuses and ongoing funds to the Matthew Shepard Foundation on behalf of its checking account customers, at no cost to the account holder. Customers opening new consumer checking accounts with a minimum opening deposit of $25 will generate a $25 gift to MSF as well as a $25 bonus for themselves, simply by presenting a special referral code and following a few simple requirements. There is no limit to the number of referral bonuses MSF can earn! Denver area BBVA Compass staff reached out to MSF with this offer under the “Compass for Your Cause” program, which supports charities in the bank’s service area. MSF will earn a 0.25% royalty each time customers use their Compass Visa check card for a signature-based transaction – all at no cost to you or us! For more information, visit for the new customer referral program, or special/201001/cause/ for the check-card royalty program for both new and existing bank customers. Or simply call 1-800-COMPASS, or visit any branch. MSF’s “Compass for Your Cause” Affinity Code is 90743 and its RAF code is 00000670306450.

Mat th e w S h e p a r d Founda tion Ca le nda r of Eve n ts For more information or ticketing, go to


30 2011

Last Day to vote for MSF in the Greenworks Video Contest.

12 2011

MSF Open House MSF Offices. Denver, Colorado.

24 2011

Teddy Bear Hunt Dallas, Texas.

July July


14 2011

MSF Comedy Night Denver, Colorado.

15 2011

10th Annual Bear To Make A Difference Gala Dinner & Celebrity Teddy Bear Auction Seawell Grand Ballroom. Denver, Colorado.



1 2011

The Legacy of Matthew Shepard Iliff School of Theology. Denver, Colorado.

Matthew Shepard Foundation Newsletter • Summer 2011 MSF Welcomes Susan Burk as Laramie Project Specialist As part of a strategic expansion of its educational programming, the Matthew Shepard Foundation has brought theatre and broadcast journalism veteran Susan Cunningham Burk onto its staff as its first-ever “Laramie Project” Specialist. Ms. Burk, a former radio and television news anchor and theatre professional, will lead and strengthen the Foundation’s support system for school and community productions of “The Laramie Project,” an award-winning play by the Tectonic Theater Project which relates the actual spoken stories of Laramie, Wyoming, residents in response to the 1998 anti-gay hate-crime murder of Matthew Shepard. “We are delighted to expand on the help and advice we’ve been offering productions of this powerful play in order to ensure an educational and motivational experience for participants and audiences,” said Jason Marsden, the Foundation’s executive director. “Susan’s unique set of experiences in theatre, communications, nonprofit work and journalism, as well as her longstanding commitment to embracing diversity, made her a perfect fit for this work.” Ms. Burk, who lives in the Shepard family’s hometown of Casper, Wyoming, will work to strengthen the Foundation’s existing outreach to productions, including educational materials, audience/cast “talk-back” sessions, production advice and historical context. She has also started to deepen the Foundation’s collaboration with Tectonic Theater Project, which created the show and its Epilogue, “The Laramie Project:

Ten Years Later.” Plans include working in tandem with Tectonic to expand educational opportunities associated with “The Laramie Project,” helping theatre companies navigate issues that may surround their productions, and creating and strengthening ties within the online presence and forums of both organizations. Having attended the Graduate Acting Program at the Goodman School of Drama in Chicago (now The Theatre School at DePaul), Ms. Burk has strong backgrounds in theatre, journalism and Matthew’s story. At the time of Matthew Shepard’s murder, his funeral, and the trials of his killers Ms. Burk was the Executive Producer/ Senior Anchor for the evening news at KTWO Television. Based in Casper, KTWO-TV was the statewide NBC affiliate, and it was Ms. Burk’s primary responsibility to arrange and implement coverage for all of these events, including community reaction and response.

Greenworks Video Contest

Standup Foundation

The Matthew Shepard Foundation needs your help! Vote for MSF as your favorite charity by June 30 and the Foundation will receive a video produced by Greenworks Video’s Emmy award winning writer-director Brian Doubleday and veteran editor Jim McConnell. Greenworks Video is a Denver-based company with years of experience produsing video for individuals and organizations. Your vote for MSF will give us the chance to take advantage of this unique opportunity to produce a new organizational video. To vote for MSF, go to:

The Matthew Shepard Foundation is pleased to join forces with the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, an organization dedicated solely to anti-bullying, no matter where or to whom it happens. The StandUp Foundation’s work includes fighting anti-gay bullying and homophobia in sports, as the StandUp Foundation was founded by Ben Cohen, a rugby World Cup champion and second in all time scoring for England, one of the world’s greatest athletes. The StandUp Foundation will help coordinate and fund specific anti-bullying programs led by a variety of other groups. Included in these groups, known as the StandUp Network, is the Matthew Shepard Foundation.



Matthew Shepard Foundation Newsletter • Summer 2011

Matthew Shepard Documentary Recieves Funding By Michele Josue In 1998, my friend Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, beaten, and tied to a fence on a Wyoming prairie and left to die because he was gay. His tragic murder made countless headlines around the world and Matthew Shepard soon became a hugely public symbol, undoubtedly important, whose story resounded in the hearts of many. But to me, Matt was a dear friend. This past fall, I have begun work on a feature-length documentary about the Matthew behind those headlines. Through the honest and intimate recollections of his family and those, like myself, who were personally affected by his death, our film seeks to tell the story of the Matthew the world hardly knows and to make sense out of a senseless tragedy. This past October, we shot extensively in Denver and Wyoming with very limited resources. During this time, we interviewed many amazing people who gave us incredible insight into Matt’s death and his all-too-brief life. Overall, it was a humbling and inspiring experience. I feel it’s so important, especially in this day and age, to share with the world the story of our Matt, as not just a symbol, but as a real person who had the love and respect of his family and his many friends. To be honest, this is a film I’ve been waiting years to make, and I am honored to have the opportunity to make it now. To Learn more about this exciting project, got to: You can also learn more on Facebook at:

Moms Getting Married is Focus of MSF Supporter’s New Book Longtime friend of MSF, Leslea Newman, author of the famous “Heather Has Two Mommies,” has a new book out focused on the son of two moms about to marry in a ceremony where he is the ring-bearer. “Donovan’s Big Day,” from Random House, depicts love, family and marriage between a same-sex couple, from a child’s perspective. Newman has written more than 20 books for children and is at work on a collection of poetry reflecting on Matthew Shepard. Newman was a guest speaker at the University of Wyoming the day Matt died in 1998 and has lectured nationwide about the experience.

Celebrity Benefiting the Matthew Shepard Foundation


July 24

Join your friends and “co-hunters” for a wild Sunday afternoon as you board your own limousine and head out to locations across the city in search of their elusive teddy bears in a race to the finish! Dallas, Texas. Sunday, July 24, 2011. 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m

Matthew Shepard Foundation Newsletter • Summer 2011

A Note From the Executive Director From all of us at the Foundation, we hope you are enjoying your summer! We are using the season to build more robust outreach, resources and advocacy programs that “Replace Hate with Understanding, Compassion and Acceptance.” Down the road, we will look back at 2011 as a turning point in the Foundation’s history – the time when we expanded our help for Laramie Project productions, grew our speaker’s bureau, and refined our structure, staff and strategic plan. This is also traditionally the slowest period for donations to come in. Please take a moment and make a tax-deductible donation toward our work. We are stretching donor dollars farther than ever before. But as our efforts grow, and our impact increases, so too does the budget. Your support continues to make a difference! Thank you for making our 13th year of operations the best ever! — Jason Marsden


Matthew Shepard Foundation to Benefit from Diversity Platinum Rewards Card The Matthew Shepard Foundation is now a beneficiary of the Platinum Diversity Rewards Program. A portion of every purchase using the discount card will go to the Matthew Shepard Foundation. The Diversity Platinum Rewards Program gives LGBT consumers, family and friends a discount when they shop at participating retailers, restaurants and companies. Participating businesses include Macy’s, Seaworld, Avis, 1-800-Flowers, Six Flags, Busch Gardens, Hamburger Mary’s, Wolfe Video Precision Garage Door Service, and many others. Over 1,000 companies and businesses are participating! The Diversity Platinum Rewards Card will be on sale for $19.95 (usually $65.00), but the sale ends June 30th. Get your card and support the Matthew Shepard Foundation. Go to www. Use the Promo Code Instinct11 to get your card at 60% off!

M S F B oard of D i rectors


Bear to Make a Difference Gala & Teddy Bear Auction Saturday, October 15, 2011

Judy Shepard, President

John Sullivan, Assistant Secretary

Gregory Miraglia, Vice President

Randy Zila, Treasurer

Ron Werner, Secretary

David Hurt, M.D. Dennis Shepard

Seawell Grand Ballroom


Jennifer Beals, John Barry, Judy Shepard & Host Mike Nelson Information and Tickets at

Special thanks to

renewing 2011 national sponsor

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