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Monday, June 25, 2007

Trash Contributions

posted by on June 25 at 15:44 PM

The downtown Pride parade: The bears in bubbles, the butches on bikes, the booze. It was all very fab and all very downtown.

The question on my mind now is whether the downtown parade is sustainable. Considering the exorbitant cost of holding a rally in Seattle Center, can Seattle Out and Proud pay for this thing in years to come? After SOaP’s enormous debt fiasco last year, we were promised a big donation drive this year, and we ‘mos who hauled our gay asses downtown first thing on Sunday morning were prepared to contribute. In comments, Giffy shares the same sentiments:

I probably would have given money if there was a place to do it. No buckets, no requests, nothing…. If I had seen a bucket or a person requesting funds I probably would have thrown five or ten bucks in the bucket. Put up buckets at the parade, have people walking the route asking for money to support the parade.

There was at least one donation “bucket,” Giffy. But if you happen to see it, it may not have instilled great confidence that your money would go to a good place.


Awesome, eh? This trash can was affixed to a SOaP tee-shirt booth about 25’ from the sidewalk, but nobody was buying shwag or donating until Dan Savage—God bless his big gay heart—persuaded the languid volunteers to pull their shit up to the curb. The booth was immediately mobbed by ‘mos clutching $20 bills.

For all the folks who missed the dough-clutching, trash-can-filling fun, you can donate to SOaP here.

Photo by Christopher Frizzelle and his notoriously crappy camera phone (with invasive surgery by iPhoto).

RSS icon Comments


There were people walking the parade itself with fishing nets angling for donations as well. I gave a couple times.

Posted by NaFun | June 25, 2007 3:59 PM

I saw a bunch of folks walking the parade route with baskets and nets. We gave some $$$.

Posted by Suz | June 25, 2007 4:15 PM

I would start lining up corporate sponsorship now and start collecting donations now too. The Stranger and other NW blogs could work with organizers to devote online ads to solicit donations. Organizers could also, probably, set up bleachers, like Seafair, and sell VIP seating.

Posted by elswinger | June 25, 2007 4:16 PM

Hey, commenters. Slog's back-end fritzed out on me and and a couple of your comments were lost. Sorry!

Posted by Dominic Holden | June 25, 2007 4:17 PM

We saw the people in the parade with the vague "Donate to Pride" signs, all holding out their lacrosse nets (or what have you) for change. My pals and I were baffled. What did "Pride" mean? Donate to the parade? To a specific prideful group? To feeling proud of ourselves? Who were these people? Who did this money go to?

We were suspicious enough to NOT give because the vague message. So the garbage can makes me laugh. Suggestion: Make it CLEAR what you are gathering money for if you want anything from me: "Donate to putting on yet another a fabulous Pride Parade! Love, your Dear Organizers who don't want to be in debt again for providing free entertainment for the masses."

Posted by coffeeboss | June 25, 2007 4:22 PM

Maybe we can sell the naming rights to the parade!

Posted by NapoleonXIV | June 25, 2007 4:22 PM

Coffeeboss, I agree. I gave because it looked legit, but my friend did not. If volunteers carrying the fishnets had clear identification (i.e., SOaP T-shirt or large badge, etc.) that would have helped.

Posted by Polka Party | June 25, 2007 4:33 PM

I agree that it was very difficult to figure out whether the donation collectors in the parade were legitimately connected with the event organizers.

Posted by LBD | June 25, 2007 5:35 PM

Toronto has volunteers with a giant-ass rainbow flag (elementary school parachute-style), both near the start of the parade and end of the parade.

Everyone tosses their money on as they go by.

Oh, and during the day they give out stickers with your word of choice on it (bi, gay, str8, top, bitch, slut....) when you give a $2 donation.

Posted by Maggie | June 25, 2007 7:14 PM

The Parade isn't the problem. As past stories have noted, the Parade is profitable. It was the festival that wasn't profitable last year.

Posted by Gitai | June 25, 2007 7:57 PM

True, Gitai, the parade on its own breaks even. But a Pride Parade without a rally afterward would be a total letdown. Also, more folks would skip the parade if there wasn't a party to attend. To make sure that doesn't happen, SOaP needs to cover a big debt from last year and figure out how to bring in the cash--but lots of folks who would have willingly shelled out some bucks last Sunday didn't know where to put their donations.

SOaP is doing something great by holding the parade downtown, but unless they organize a financially sustainable event worth attending year after year (or another organization that can do it takes the reigns), downtown Pride will kinda suck.

Posted by Dominic Holden | June 25, 2007 11:53 PM

OK. So they charged $4 - $5 per beer at PrideFest, which is fine, and they may have actually sold out of all their beer by the end. The beer garden was huge yet at the proceeds from the beer garden were going to charity. I am all for giving to charity but I think we need to get our priorities straight and pay the bills first. I think this was done because the LGBT Center was complaining about how they are so incredibly charitiable and OneDegreeEvents is not.

Posted by Touring | June 26, 2007 9:26 AM

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