Project Pride SRQ has welcomed Sarasota Pride under its umbrella in a merger that celebrates more than three decades of LGBTQ+ activism, support, and community building. Building on mutual commitments to belonging and inclusivity, the unification of the two nonprofit organizations will enhance connections and capacity-building efforts for local LGBTQ+ community and allied partners throughout Sarasota County. As part of the merger, Project Pride will also host the annual Sarasota Pride event beginning in 2023.
Longtime Sarasota Pride President & visionary recognized for 16 years of service
The merger was announced by longtime Sarasota Pride President, Cindy Barnes, at the 31st annual Sarasota Pride held on October 22 at J.D. Hamel Park. A local LGBTQ+ visionary, Barnes served as president for 12 years, though her involvement with Sarasota Pride stretches back more than 16 years. Under her leadership, the organization’s namesake event grew into a gathering that, most recently, brought together more than 50 local and regional businesses and hundreds of participants. At the 2022 celebration, Barnes was recognized for her dedication and service with an award presented by Project Pride President, Jordan Letschert, and Development Chair, Tony Boothby.
“Project Pride is beyond thrilled to continue the legacy of what Cindy Barnes and Sarasota Pride have done over the last 35 years,” Letschert said. “Words are not enough to thank Cindy and her team for all they’ve accomplished for our community. As our boards begin to join forces and plan for next year’s gathering, I’m reminded of our shared goals – eliminating prejudice and promoting inclusion – that brought us together in the first place and will continue to unite us moving forward. Being entrusted with this beloved and cherished gathering is an honor, one we look forward to taking great care of for years to come.”
About Project Pride SRQ
Since 2019, Project Pride has celebrated and united Sarasota’s diverse community by providing social connection and support for LGBTQ+ people, businesses, and organizations. Throughout the year, Project Pride organizes safe, quality events that are open to everyone and produces educational, cultural, and entertainment events and activities to create a celebratory experience for the entire community.
Project Pride SRQ is a Sarasota-based nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding awareness and understanding of the LGBTQ+ community by creating strategic partnerships with local organizations, businesses, and governments towards a shared goal. From providing youth scholarships to organizing local gatherings, Project Pride has brought together LGBTQ+ and allied partners since 2019 to build capacity, support, and a vision for an all-inclusive community where everyone is equally united, supported, and celebrated in Sarasota and beyond. For more information, visit www.ppsrq.org.