Ferndale Pride organizers are able to donate $30,000 to local charities after holding  several fundraisers and its ninth annual event, pictured.

Ferndale Pride organizers are able to donate $30,000 to local charities after holding several fundraisers and its ninth annual event, pictured.

File photo by Donna Dalziel

Ferndale Pride makes its largest single-year donation to charitable organizations

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published October 1, 2019


FERNDALE — Coming off one of its biggest events, Ferndale Pride in turn is making its largest charitable donation.

Ferndale Pride will be donating $30,000 to local charities and partners of the event, which celebrated its ninth year June 1.

Event organizer Julia Music said more fundraisers and sponsorships from businesses including the Candle Wick Shoppe and Tito’s Handcrafted Vodka helped pay large amounts of the cost of hosting Pride and led organizers to raise more money.

“We’ve created some new fundraisers, and part of that is to raise more money, but part of it is also to engage more segments of our community to make sure everyone has events they can come to and feel comfortable in,” she said.

Of the total amount, $10,000 will be split five ways between Affirmations, the Gender-Identity Network Alliance, Matrix Human Services MAC Health, Transgender Michigan and Transgender Detroit. Each will receive $2,000.

Transgender Michigan Executive Director and co-founder Rachel Crandall-Crocker said that receiving this money each year from Ferndale Pride means everything to them.

“It means that we can offer services to many trangender people around Michigan that we would’ve not been able to,” she said. “The money will go toward our helpline and our advocacy and our speakers bureau. It really helps us out so much every year.”

The helpline is especially important, Crandall-Crocker said.

“They will be able to speak to another trangender person who really understands,” she said. “So many trans people are isolated, and so, so many trans people are taking their own life. So it really can make the difference between life and death.”

The remaining $20,000 will go to the Ferndale Community Foundation. Nonprofit organizations in Ferndale will be allowed to apply for unrestricted grants to help their own causes.

“If an organization needs to pay their light bill, they can pay their light bill,” said Music. “Those grants are few and far between. When you look across the board, most grants are really restrictive. So we’re able to supplement and give people money they can use for whatever they need for their nonprofit.”

If someone would have said five years ago to Music that she needed to raise $30,000 from Pride, she doesn’t know if she would have been able to do that. Music credited the relationships built over the event’s years and her fundraising chair, Andrew Shankels, who helps coordinate many of the fundraising events, for this year’s success.

“It does feel like we’re actually making an impact on the community, and we’re not just here to have a fun day in the streets,” she said. “We’re really here to make sure the people in our community who are in need, or people who want to start amazing projects that will help people, have that opportunity, and I think that’s probably one of the most important things about the event is that we can give away money.”