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2013 Be Scene Pride Kick-Off Fundraising Reception. Photo Credit: Steven Underhill

June 13, 2013 SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco Pride announced today that it has made major progress towards financial stability, retiring a three year debt burden, while simultaneously achieving record breaking increases in key sponsorship contributions.

As of May 31, 2013, the non-profit organization that sponsors and produces the annual SF LGBT Pride Parade and Celebration completed a two-year strategic plan that allowed it to retire nearly $300,000 of outstanding loan and debt, which included a generous loan of $65,000 from the Dorian Fund.  The plan also involved an organizational restructuring, including a national search and the eventual hiring of Earl Plante as its first Chief Executive Officer in December 2012.

“SF Pride is in the strongest financial health it has ever been in its 43 year history,” stated Lisa Williams, President of SF Pride’s Board of Directors. “Putting Pride on sound financial footing has been our top priority.  As a Board, staff, and community partnership we rolled up our sleeves, exerted the required determination, focus and discipline to deliver this key turning point for the organization and the community.”

“SF Pride can now focus on building much needed reserves to sustain fiscal health, as well as on allocating timely grants to vital community-based services and programs, and peer Pride Month events such as the Dyke March, Trans March, and Pink Saturday,” stated David Currie, Treasurer of SF Pride’s Board of Directors.   Since 1997, SF Pride has been a significant fundraiser to the local community at large, giving nearly $2.4 million back to organizations working on the frontlines on vital issues including breast cancer, homelessness, and HIV/AIDS.

With over 250 parade contingents, 300 exhibitors, and 21 stages and venues, the San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration and Parade is the largest LGBT annual gathering in the nation; this year’s theme is ‘Embrace, Encourage, Empower.‘   It is estimated that it costs over $4,000,000 to produce the SF Pride Parade and Celebration that takes place annually on the final weekend of June during Pride Month.  While cash contributions are requested at the Celebration in Civic Center as it provides vital proceeds to community based programs, the event remains a free event to the public.

Under newly hired SF Pride CEO, Earl Plante, the organization experienced the highest sponsorship income in its 43-year history.  Sponsorship fund raising broke SF Pride’s 2012 record with a 20% increase in total corporate cash donations to $782,199, and $1,615,550 in secured in-kind donations — a 44% increase over the previously highest rate secured in 2008.

“I am very proud to lead the team effort of SF Pride’s dedicated volunteer Board of Directors, community advisory board, and staff and contractors since my tenure began to move SF Pride positively forward,” stated Earl Plante, CEO of SF Pride. “We are humbled and honored by the goodwill and good faith that SF Pride’s diverse range of local business and corporate partners has invested in the history and ongoing transformational work of SF Pride.  We welcome with great appreciation both returning and new sponsors that help us to produce one of the most celebrated LGBT Pride events in the world.”

Among SF Pride’s most loyal, returning SF Pride Celebration sponsors include Virgin America, Clear Channel, SF Toyota, KOFY TV, Kaiser Permanente, and Recology:

“As San Francisco’s hometown airline, we couldn’t be more proud to once again support SF Pride and celebrate the LGBT community,” said Frances Fiorillo, Senior Vice President of People and In-flight Service for Virgin America.  “We’ve worked with SF Pride since our launch and this event is consistently one of the most popular with our teammates.  We’re also thrilled to welcome aboard the thousands of parade goers from all over the nation who are kicking off their journeys in fabulous style onboard Virgin America flights with custom-designed mood-lit cabins and the most advanced personal entertainment platform in the skies.”

“Clear Channel San Francisco is proud to sponsor SF Pride as well as fund and produce the television production of the SF Pride Parade,” stated Valerie Klein, Director of Marketing and Promotions for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. “This year, we are celebrating our 12th year as a corporate and media sponsor.  Our participation in SF Pride is more than an annual event for us. Our support of SF Pride and the LGBT community represents a value we implement on a day-to-day basis for our community, our listeners/viewers and our employees.”

“This will be San Francisco Toyota’s 10th consecutive year of very prideful sponsorship, we Salute and applaud CEO Earl Plante and the entire Pride Board. This year’s event should be memorable thanks to everyone’s hard work,” remarked Doug Donnellan, VP & GM San Francisco Toyota.

“KOFY TV’s commitment to the LGBT community stems back to the 1980′s, being the first television station in the country to broadcast a Pride Celebration & Parade.  KOFY prides itself in being Local Just Like You and a voice for Bay Area residents.  We are thrilled to once again partner with San Francisco Pride and broadcast the 43rd Annual San Francisco Pride Parade.  KOFY TV will continue to offer the LGBT community a platform to showcase their many talents and accomplishments in the years to come!” commented Kemp Nichol, President & General Manager of KOFY TV.

“Kaiser Permanente is proud to continue our sponsorship of San Francisco’s Pride Parade. This will be our 19th year of marching in the parade, where hundreds of our employees gather each year to celebrate the richness of our community’s diversity.  We’re committed to doing our part to promote good health and equality for all people.  San Francisco’s Pride Parade has to be one of our nation’s greatest events for celebrating unity, diversity and the freedom we all deserve to Thrive,” stated Randy Wittorp, Area Director, Public Affairs Department.

“Recology believes in and practices LBGT workplace equality and therefore is proud to be one of the longest running sponsors of SF Pride. It is diversity that makes Recology a great company and San Francisco such a great city,” commented Michael Sangiacomo, Recology President & CEO.

This year also marks the entry of new sponsors to the SF Pride family: Bank of the West, Bay Times/Betty’s List, Ceva Animal Health, Fusion Radio, Golden State Warriors, Hilton, Hewlett Packard, Marriott, Nike, Orasure, Salesforce, Shades Magazine, Sun Reporter, Sutter Health, Swirl, Hotel Zetta and Yahoo!

“As the LGBT community and its many allies eagerly anticipate the U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming rulings on marriage equality and DOMA, we expect to welcome over one million visitors to San Francisco on this particularly momentous occasion.  We look forward to an amazing pride celebration June 29-30 and encourage everyone to come join us!” stated Mr. Plante.

 About the 2013 San Francisco Pride Celebration & Parade

This year marks the 43rd anniversary of the San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade – held over the weekend of June 29 and 30.  With more than 250 parade contingents, 300 exhibitors and 21 community-run stages and venues, SF Pride Celebration and Parade is not only the largest annual gathering of LGBT people and allies in the nation, but it is also the second largest in the world behind only Sydney. SF Pride was also recently placed on the top of the list by Bay Area Reporter readers as being one of the 2013 “Best of the Gays.” The two-day celebration is free and open to all. For more information, visit sfpride.org.

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