Pride Lafayette seeing significant decrease in funding due to COVID-19

Many organizations are still navigating through this pandemic. One local group is up against its biggest obstacle after canceling its biggest fundraising event. News 18's Marvin Bills spoke with a board member from Pride Lafayette about the difficult decision to cancel OutFest - while trying to overcome funding issues.

Posted: Jul 2, 2020 5:38 PM
Updated: Jul 2, 2020 9:34 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)—Pride Lafayette Treasurer Jesse Knoth Harrington said the organization has already lost in the ball park of five to seven thousand dollars - due to the pandemic.

"It has been pretty tough actually," said Harrington. 

The organization closed its doors earlier this year in response to COVID-19 and hasn't held an event since.

"Not being able to be open has definitely been the biggest issue for us," said Harrington. "When we do take the opportunity to go in and check on the center and things like that our answering machine is overwhelmed."

Harrington said the center has received more than 40 missed calls and messages from people seeking information, looking for advice, outreach information and more.

"That's a lot for us," said Harrington. "Usually that's about every 2-weeks. But in just one weeks' time frame, like that's 49 people we have to sit down and call back."

On top of closing its doors, Pride Lafayette made the difficult decision to cancel OutFest this year. One of its biggest fundraising events.

"When it came down to it and after talking with the health department and with our local mayor and everything we just really realized that it really would truly be in our best interest to not do it and it was very heartbreaking for all of us."

The decision came with a hefty price. The organization will lose up to $20,000 in fundraising due to the cancellation of OutFest.

Harrington said they'll have to get creative by the end of the year or 2021 will be tough for the organization.

"If we can't pull something magical out of our hat by the end of this year it's going to be very difficult to move into next year let alone prepared to come back next year," said Harrington. 

OutFest was scheduled to take place August 15th. If you'd like to donate to help Pride Lafayette to help during this time you can do so by clicking here. 

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