By Anna-Marie Menhenott
PORT ST. LUCIE -- For some, celebrating who you are is easy. There are Irish Festivals, Renaissance Fairs, Star Trek Conventions and tattoo expos. But, for a growing segment of the community, celebrations haven't always been easy or accepted. That's why this year's Treasure Coast PrideFest, celebrating gay, lesbians, transgender and bisexual members of the community, and its board members are overwhelmed with the community's support.
"Over the past few years, it seems interest in Pride of the Treasure Coast, and our efforts to help the community while putting on a great event, has increased," said Cory Pfister, president, Treasure Coast Pride. "We're a small board of officers and directors who work year-round to collect donations from the community. Every dollar that is brought in to the organization is put right back into supporting organizations like Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays of Vero Beach, Project Response, St. Lucie County on Aging, and ultimately PrideFest."
PrideFest welcomes many vendors, from companies and charitable organizations, to corporate sponsors and food and craft vendors. This year, there will be many new vendors, along with plenty of returning ones.
"I think over the years the community has seen and recognizes our efforts and the vision we have for the Pride organization," Mr. Pfister said. "This coming year, the board of Pride of the Treasure Coast would like to focus on bringing new members, volunteers and committee members on board to help put on an amazing event, have fun and serve the community."
Throughout the year Pride of the Treasure Coast puts on several events to help raise donations for PrideFest. The most successful and most talked about event is Dining with the Stars; a dinner and celebrity illusion event performed by entertainers from across the state.
This year's sponsors include Treasure Coast Lexus and Treasure Coast Toyota, REBAR nightclub, home of the official after-party, and Bottom's Up Beverage.
There will be plenty of entertainment, including: DJ Joshua Atom, Kelli Randell; Dominique Taylor; Shelita Taylor; Miss Treasure Coast Continental Elite, Trish Stevens; Dragon Blade Taylor, Reggie B. Coxworthy and Family; Roxxxy Andrews, current contestant on RuPaul's Drag Race; Spikey Van Dykey; Palm Beach Makos cheerleaders; Rafael Gomez, with Center Stage Dance Production; Category 5 & the Storm Horns; and a few more surprises.
PrideFest will take place from noon to 9 p.m. April 7 at the Port St. Lucie Civic Center. For more information, visit www.prideofthetreasurecoast.org.