The 2010s have been a busy and exciting decade for Grand Strand PRIDE.
The excitement includes:
The 2010s have also given us some big challenges:
Grand Strand PRIDE has accomplished much for the Myrtle Beach area, especially for an all volunteer organization. But our ability to continue isn’t sustainable without public support, in the form of both monetary donations and volunteers. And in 2019, we hit roadblocks with both. A major fundraiser event was cancelled after a large part of our community called for a boycott and convinced others not to purchase tickets as well. We have also been actively seeking volunteers to serve the organization and its programs, and we still don’t have the minimum number needed to sustain the organization.
The cancelled fundraiser was to start a fund for a future PRIDE Center in Myrtle Beach, a place where we could gather, young and old, and support each other. The Center was also to be the home for the Coastal Business Guild and their monthly meetings. But those responding to a social media poll stated a Center wasn’t needed. Yet we still get requests for more and more free events and happy hours, but those come at a great cost to the organization since we have to rent event space and cannot bring outside food and drinks into the venue.
Grand Strand PRIDE is not alone in this predicament, it is a nationwide issue. Maybe the reason for the decline in interest in LGBTQ advocacy organizations is because we have accomplished so much in this decade. After all, many never dreamed we would have marriage equality by now. But don’t forget in South Carolina we still lack workplace protection for the LGBTQ community and we also have no hate crimes legislation, just to name two issues.
Regardless of why, the Board of Directors has extensively discussed the current environment we are operating in and have decided to cease operations of Grand Strand PRIDE effective December 31, 2019.
It has certainly been an awesome run for the last thirteen years and the end of the 2010s seems to be a perfect time for us to retire the organization.
Best wishes to everyone for a happy new year and we look forward to seeing you OUT and about!
Steve & Terry
December 30, 2019