Message from President Joe Matessa - June

Last Friday night (June 16), as I stood on the Main St. bridge and gazed at upon the Festival against the backdrop of our amazing skyline, I was overwhelmed with joy…and Pride.  First and foremost, the city has done an incredible job with the riverfront; in and of itself – it’s stunning.  And while I was feeling a little nostalgic about the intimacy of Goodale Park, and its proximity to the geographical hub of our Community, I was so proud to see - and feel - the presence of our Community on the main stage of Columbus for everyone to experience.

Prior to Columbus I lived in Washington, DC and Chicago -  so my bar was pretty high.  But this…THIS rose the bar to new heights.  Congratulations to Lori Gum and the SWC PRIDE Committee for a job well done.  It takes a lot of work to produce a parade and festival of this magnitude, but when you move it to a whole new location, its far more than any of us can possibly fathom.

Recently, Lori announced her resignation as the Pride Festival Coordinator, and SWC Program Coordinator.  Words simply can’t express what a loss this will be for our Community.  I have the utmost respect for Lori, not just for what she did to make Pride happen year after year, but for her integrity, her passion, and her unfaltering commitment to equality and justice for and with our Community.  I am humbled and honored to have worked by her side, and will miss her dearly in this capacity.

Thank you to the families and prospective parents that marched with us in the parade.  I look forward to the year ahead as we continue to show the community-at-large each and every day that LOVE Makes A Family.