White River Valley PFLAG
Bloomington PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), a local not-for-profit organization centered in Monroe County, is merging with the nearby White River Valley PFLAG. While both organizations share a common mission and values and are both local chapters of the national PFLAG organization, the two groups have maintained distinct geographic areas.
The merger aims to maximize the resources of the two organizations to increase their effectiveness and influence within the communities.
"We strongly feel that this collaborative effort is our best opportunity to serve south-central Indiana," said Judi Epp, president of White River Valley PFLAG. Judi and her friend Jackie Hall, who leads the Bloomington PFLAG, recently sent a letter to their memberships announcing the merger.
"We strongly feel that this collaborative effort is our best opportunity to serve south-central Indiana."- Judi Epp, White River Valley PFLAG
The unified group will maintain the White River Valley PFLAG name in order to represent its broader geographic influence. Although the groups together support Bloomington, Spencer, and the surrounding communities, the newly combined entity will begin expanding its reach into Martinsville as well.
The organization will also retain the David L. Adams scholarship, which has been an essential part of Bloomington PFLAG. Although this scholarship has not been limited to the Bloomington area, the White River Valley PFLAG will make strong efforts to publicize this scholarship opportunity to all areas within their new geographic sphere.
Finally, the two PFLAG leaders also noted that the White River Valley PFLAG will continue its support and participation in the Spencer PRIDE organization as well. This blossoming organization has partnered with the White River Valley PFLAG over the past three years in the formation of the annual Spencer PRIDE Festival. Through these joint efforts, the Spencer PRIDE Festival has grown from 50 participants to 250 participants. The 2010 Spencer PRIDE Festival will be held on June 5.
The organization has announced that current White River Valley PFLAG board members will all retain their positions: Judi Epp, President; Jonathan Balash, Secretary; and Jacob Balash, Treasurer. Jackie Hall, an influential leader from Bloomington PFLAG, will now serve as an ad hoc board member of the newly merged organization. "We welcome your input and look forward to your participation as we integrate the membership of our two organizations into one cohesive and productive entity," Jackie stated in the recent merger correspondence.
Community members seeking information about PFLAG or support regarding GLBT issues should call 877-PRIDE18. Anyone interested in joining the White River Valley PFLAG is welcome to attend their September pitch-in on Sept. 13 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Call the number above for directions.
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