Charlotte Pride community outreach begins in earnest

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A dozen community members met at Charlotte Pride’s new office on Thursday evening to learn more about volunteer opportunities as the organization begins its 2015 community outreach initiatives.

Marshall Varner, chair of Charlotte Pride’s Community Development Committee, led the meeting, discussing the various events and activities the group has planned for 2015.

“The good thing about this committee is that it touches so many facets of the community,” Varner told the potential volunteers. “It’s a killer way to get out there, get involved and get to know people. In just the first three months of being chair, I’ve talked to maybe 100 people.”

Among the many new initiatives, the group plans to bolster its usual nightlife outreach and reinvigorate its other annual events returning with its popular community picnic and Canine Couture, a unique doggie fashion show, as well as Bear-B-Que, an outreach to the local bear community at The Woodshed Lounge.

New programs and projects will include arts and entertainment events and partnerships for new events, including activities during this year’s Pride Week in the lead up to the Charlotte Pride Festival and Parade. New collaborative events include a career expo, a singles night and new transgender community outreach efforts.

Additionally, the Community Development Committee will also oversee a new Family Zone at the annual festival. Organizers say they want to pull together a focus group of parents and families to understand how such a festival attraction can be better customized for families.

The committee is now open to potential volunteers and committee members. Those interested can email Marshall Varner at marshall@charlottepride.org for more information.

If you have ideas for different events, be sure to email your suggestions.

“There are several different areas of interest for you to get involved,” Varner said. “If we haven’t thought of something, let me know. Maybe we can take a look and develop that.”