Thursday, June 23, 2016

Pulse owners hold benefit events for mass shooting victims, employees

Posted By on Thu, Jun 23, 2016 at 10:15 AM

click to enlarge pulse.jpg

The owners of the gay nightclub Pulse are holding two fundraising events, one on Thursday and the other on Saturday, to benefit Pulse employees and victims of the mass shooting on June 12 that killed 49 people and wounded 53. 

"Latin Night for Pulse" will be on Thursday, June 23, at the Wildside BBQ Bar & Grille, 700 E. Washington St., from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. The $20 suggested donation will be going to employees of Pulse. The event will feature live music from the Rico Monaco Band, Pulse entertainers, and Latino food and drink.

"Orlando Strong" is a free concert on Saturday, June 25, at Venue 578, 578 North Orange Ave., from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Any donations given at this event will benefit victims of the Pulse mass shooting. The event will feature a DJ from Puerto Rico, DVJ King Arthur, and Rene Farrait, a former member of the Puerto Rican boy band Menudo. 

In a letter on the club's website, owner Barbara Poma says she plans to rebuild the club as a tribute to the victims of the tragedy on June 12. She opened the club 14 years ago in honor of her brother who died of AIDS in 1991. Poma says: 

"I am here today to personally express my sadness and condolences to the friends and families of the men and women who lost their lives and those who are in the hospital. I also want to thank the Central Florida community for the overwhelming concern and support for the Pulse family – those who work there and those who enjoy spending time there. They are my family. Especially to my Pulse staff, their hard work and dedication has allowed me to make my vision for pulse a reality. I individually extend my utmost sincere gratitude for the bravery and responsiveness of my entire team, past and present. Our goal is to create a true family community, and everyone’s actions to this tragedy shows the world just how strong our bond is. No amount of hate can destroy that bond.

Central Florida and the country are grieving. It is important to me that the LGBTQ community know that this terrible act of hate will not stop Pulse. As we move forward in the days ahead, I will begin plans to rebuild and reopen Pulse as a tribute to those who were hurt and who lost their lives.

I will not let hate win. We will heal together. Pulse will always continue to be the heartbeat of Orlando."

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