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Standing with Orlando


Standing with Orlando 

“We Stand With You Orlando”, “Remember Orlando”, “We Support Orlando”, read the signs throughout the Rainbow Cattle Company, inside and out on the afternoon of June 16. The words were on the lips of the dozens upon dozens of people, all LGBT individuals and allies, who were gathered to mourn and at the same time celebrate their unity with the victims, families and friends of the Orlando tragedy. “Our extended family needs our love,” said one of the voices sitting quietly at the bar to join with the Russian River Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in what was fast becoming a hugely successful Orlando Fundraiser. The fundraiser was supported by the Sonoma County Pride Board of Directors who assisted in gathering prizes and funds for the auction which was conceived by Michael Volpat, co-owner of Big Bottom Market. It was his idea to hold a special fundraiser the day after the shooting. Michael alone raised $1700 auctioning a Jet Blue round trip ticket to New York with dinner for two at one of Michael’s New York Restaurants, back stage pass to “Shuffle Along” and use of an apartment for a week.

Sisters, headed by Sisters aka Mary Mount (Sister Claire Voyante), Mary Agneberg (Sister Scarlett Billows), Mike Bernard (Sister Nova Nilla ) and Joseph Lunn (Sister Wilma Titzgro), along with Sister Sparkle Plenty, Sister Kara Z’Matick, Sister Sorenda Da Booty along with many others joined Michael Volpat and Rainbow co-owner Robert Fredricks in just a few days organized, advertised and produced a “Give Back Thursday” dinner and auction, to raise more than $12,000 to add to the $5.8 million dollars already raised nationally for the Orlando Victims Fund. Sister Wilma who was, well, not quite the darling of the evening, but an unabashedly, anything but shy, star of the day as she literally waded through the Main Street “traffic” (actually she was the traffic stopper), shaking her plastic quart sized soft drink bottles simulating boobs and another placed strategically on a lower part of her body, filling the “jugs” with more than $ 861 collected from motoring passers-by and Orlando supporters. Thumbs raised and “go get ‘em girl” and “only in Guerneville” were heard from motorists and attendees alike as they gathered in front of the Rainbow Cattle Company on Main street in Guerneville.

In addition to the successful fundraising event held by the Russian River Sisters, the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria and Graton Resort & Casino donated $10,000 to Sonoma County Pride for distribution to the Orlando Victims Fund. Tribal Chairman Greg Sarris presented the check in person to the Sonoma County Board of Directors; President JD Donovan, Vice President Berlin Fischer, Secretary Robbi Ernst III, Directors Donna Starr, David Goyes, Douglas DeVivo and Brian Rogers were presented with the check. Greg Sarris then spoke about the Orlando tragedy to the crowd at the Rainbow Cattle Company where one of the largest Give back Crowds was on hand..

The Give Back Thursday event success was organic and provided a much needed outlet for members of the community to express their sorrow and anger about the tragic recent act of hate in Orlando and to take action to push back. It shows what positive power we have when we support one another.

Another event was held at the R3 Resort on Friday night where another eight thousand plus dollars was raised to push the total amount raised by the Sister of Perpetual Indulgence to over twenty thousand dollars.

Between the Sister of Perpetual Indulgence Russian River Chapter and Sonoma County Pride with the help of The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria (Graton Resort and Casino) our small town of Guerneville in West Sonoma County is sending over Thirty Thousand Dollars to help the victims of Orlando. This is what makes us proud of our community!