Ferndale Pride donates highest total ever in grant funding

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published January 12, 2022

 Ferndale Pride and the Ferndale Community Foundation donated $24,500 to various organizations, the highest amount the festival, seen here in October 2021, has ever given in grant money.

Ferndale Pride and the Ferndale Community Foundation donated $24,500 to various organizations, the highest amount the festival, seen here in October 2021, has ever given in grant money.

File photo by Deb Jacques

 The Ringwald Theatre will use the grant funding it received from the Ferndale Community Foundation to create a mural at one of its entrances. The mural will be on the wall inside the building near its back window.

The Ringwald Theatre will use the grant funding it received from the Ferndale Community Foundation to create a mural at one of its entrances. The mural will be on the wall inside the building near its back window.

Photo provided by Brandy Joe Plambeck

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FERNDALE — Following the fall Ferndale Pride festival, the Ferndale Pride organization and the Ferndale Community Foundation are donating their highest amount of grant funding ever.

Ferndale Pride and the FCF are distributing $24,500 in grants to 11 local organizations that help support the community.

Ferndale Pride Executive Director Julia Music said some of the funding that was donated was rolled over from last year, which helped with the significant donation this year.

Music stated that reaching this donation high is “kind of an overwhelming feeling.”

“This is what I’ve done for my life for so long, so to see this number was amazing. It feels really nice,” she said.

Pride gave $10,000 in funding to five organizations: $4,000​​ went to Affirmations; $1,500 to Gender Identity Network; $1,500 to Matrix Human Services; $1,500 to TGDetroit; and $1,500 to Transgender Michigan.

The foundation also gave $14,500 to six local organizations. The money was raised through proceeds from Pride, as well as private donations. With its grants, $3,000 went to Affirmations; $3,000 to FernCare Free Clinic; $3,000 to the Ferndale Housing Commission; $2,000 to the Ferndale Seniors Group; $2,000 to the Ringwald Theatre; and $1,500 to the Southeast Oakland Coalition.

Pride was held Oct. 2. It was pushed back from its previous June date due to COVID-19 concerns. Music said the level of creativity and community support required to make things happen was “amazing.”

“Face-to-face events for us really help raise a lot of money and make people included, and … to be able to figure out ways where people can celebrate Pride safely at home to raise funds for the event so that our nonprofits could benefit was a lot of … reinventing something but also feeling the spirit of the event at the same time,” she said.

Ringwald Theatre co-owner Brandy Joe Plambeck said the grant funding is exciting to receive. The money will go toward commissioning an artist to create artwork inside Affirmations near its theater space that will be visible to foot traffic outside. The Ringwald’s previous space had good signage, and this project will bring attention to its new home.

“We just wanted to do something cool and commission an artist and have a really cool display there,” Plambeck said. “It’s really exciting,” he said.

The next Ferndale Pride is scheduled for Saturday, June 4, though it still needs final approval from the City Council. Music said planning for the event is underway.

“We just released the sponsorship packet, the vendor applications. The entertainment applications will be up within the next couple of days. We are looking forward to returning to June,” she said.

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