Jan. 4, 2018, By Tara Law
The Jackson Heights non-profit that holds the Queens Pride parade each year will host its 25th annual Winter Pride gala on Jan. 20 to raise funds for its landmark event.
Queens Pride, a group that aims to advance LGBTQ issues, organizes the parade each June, drawing a crowd of 40,000 to 50,000 people to the Jackson Heights event.
The Queens Pride Winter gala aims to raise funds to help cover the cost of the parade. The funds will be used to pay for permits, insurance, ambulances and other parade necessities, said co-chair Tina Arniotis.
The gala typically raises between $10,000 and $15,000 each year.
The first Queens Pride parade took place in 1992 in response to the murder of 29-year-old Julio Rivera, who was killed in a Jackson Heights school yard for being gay in 1990. Queens Pride as an organization formed the winter after the first parade.
This year’s gala will honor individuals and groups that share Queens Pride’s commitment to diversity, Arniotis said.
The honorees will be Nick Gulotta, the Queens borough director for the Mayor’s Office; Sean Coleman, the executive director of Destination Tomorrow, an LGBTQ services organization based in the South Bronx; and the Queensboro Dance Festival, which provides a venue for dance companies to perform.
The gala will take place from 7 p.m. to 12 p.m. at Astoria World Manor, with tickets costing $125. The event will feature cocktails, dinner, live music, a raffle and dancing. This year, the celebration’s color theme will be silver and violet— silver for 25 years, and violet to symbolize gay pride.
Those interested in donating or participating can visit www.queenspride.org; use the Queens Pride mobile app (available for iPhone or Android) or call Tina Arniotis at (347) 869-2601.