October 28, 2003
For Immediate Release
Please Disseminate To Appropriate Sources
For More Info, Contact:
Membership Director, Pagan Pride Project
(Contact the project)
PAGAN PRIDE PROJECT CONTINUES GROWTH IN SIXTH YEAR
New Records Set For Charitable Collection, Attendance
In its sixth year of operation, the Pagan Pride Project's organized celebrations of Pagan Pride Day set new records for total attendance and charitable collections. A formal count of 39,535 people attended 136 Pagan Pride Day events in nine countries, and 34,897 lbs of food and goods were collected for charitable institutions in local communities. This is an increase of over 8000 from 2002's attendance, and an increase of over 10,000 lbs of food and goods collected for charity.
In addition to the material collections, Pride events also collected $17,186 for local and regional charitable causes.
Firsts this year included New York City being the first event with over 5,000 attendance; our first events in Wyoming, Newfoundland, Arkansas, and Nebraska; and four local Pagan communities opening their hearts and purses for over $1000 in individual charitable contributions. Charities supported included numerous local homeless shelters, women's shelters, interfaith food banks, no-kill animal shelters, the American Cancer Society, the American Red Cross, AIDS support agencies and shelters, and local blood banks. Additional monetary collections were set up for one Pagan charitable cause, that of Witchvox (http://www.witchvox.com).
For the second straight year, protestor activity increased, including isolated acts of minor vandalism. One event had to clean up broken glass scattered throughout their scheduled area; another event had to have the local sheriff's department evict Christian squatters in their reserved park shelter. However, any removal of protestors by police or event security remained peaceable. 16 events had protestor activity in 2003, ranging from confrontational preaching to sign removal to unauthorized photography.
Goals for next year include a Pagan Pride event in all 50 US states and total attendance of over 40,000. As such, Pride will be recruiting actively in our missing states; Idaho, Vermont, the Dakotas, and Mississippi. If you are interested in getting involved in Pagan Pride 2004, please check out our website at http://www.paganpride.org.