Turman Larison Gallery to Host Pride Foundation Benefit

 Helena Art Party to Raise Money for Grants and Scholarships in Montana


The Turman Larison Contemporary Art Gallery in downtown Helena will host a fundraiser for Pride Foundation’s grants and scholarships on Thursday, Aug. 9, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event is free to attend, but donations are encouraged. Co-hosts include: Clark &Toni Broadbent, Attorney General Candidate Pam Bucy, Linda Carlson and David Hunter, Tom and Lisa Cordingley, Pam Dale, Clayton Elliott, Laura Fix,Ginny Furshong, Jamee Greer, Cindy Lewis, Pat Kemp and Sen. Christine Kaufmann, Terry Kendrick, Wendy and Sarah Nicolai, Linda Reed, Mike Wessler and Bobbie Zenker.

Seattle-based Pride Foundation has made a big splash in Montana since hiring on-the-ground staff in 2011, sextupling the number of active donors in less than two years. A board of 12 volunteers, including Helena residents Ginny Furshong, Pat Kemp, Mike Wessler and Bobbie Zenker, helps lead the organization’s efforts. Pride Foundation has increased from $19,000 to nearly $50,000 the amount of grants and scholarships given out in the state over the past year.

According to Regional Development Organizer Caitlin Copple, who is also the first openly gay member of the Missoula City Council, Montana is part of a larger national trend toward greater acceptance of people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.

“From the city ordinances protecting the community from non-discrimination to the increase in the number of high school Gay-Straight Alliances around the state to the changes in both the Republican and Democratic Party platforms, Montana is rapidly becoming a friendlier place for gays and lesbians,” Copple said. “Most importantly, more of our heterosexual family, friends, and colleagues are also ‘coming out’ as supporters of full equality in our state.”

Founded in 1985, Pride Foundation is dedicated to inspiring a culture of generosity to connect and strengthen organizations, leaders, and students who are creating LGBTQ equality across the Northwest states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. To learn more, visit www.pridefoundation.org or email Caitlin@pridefoundation.org.

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