Kincardine Pride promotes awareness and inclusion

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News

By Barb McKay

Kincardine is proud to be an inclusive and welcoming community.

That is what a newly-formed organization has hoped for and is quickly discovering to be true. Kincardine Pride is only in its infancy, having launched its Facebook page less than two weeks ago, and is already receiving plenty of positive feedback.

“The letters and emails and outpouring has been incredible,” said Terry-Ann Smith. “It is quite something.”

Fellow Kincardine Pride member Sandy Blackwood said discussion about starting the group began back in December and quickly took off.

“It has been a passion of Fort Papalia’s and he approached me,” she said. “It is near and dear to my heart.”

The two then asked Smith if she would get involved.

“It is near and dear to me, as well, so it was a no-brainer,” she said.

Kincardine Pride now has a committee of five people and is working towards incorporating and obtaining its not-for-profit status. It could receive its business number as early as this week. Its Facebook page has surpassed 185 likes with very little in the way of promotion.

Kincardine Pride’s fundraising efforts are gaining momentum thanks to support from the local business community. The Ross Firm has donated its services as the group works towards incorporating and PRG created the Kincardine Pride logo. Arts students at Kincardine and District Secondary School will be designing t-shirts and posters. Businesses have donated items for an auction that will be held during the Kincardine Home and Cottage Show at the end of April. Kincardine Pride will have a table set up for information sharing.

“You think you know your community and you hope, and it has really surpassed my expectations,” Blackwood said.

Kincardine Pride is organizing a meet and greet event that will be held this spring and a special event to be held in June. Planning is in the early stages and the committee will provide updates on the Kincardine Pride Facebook page as they become available.

“We want to hold a fun event for everyone,” Smith said. “It’s a LGBTQ celebration, but it’s also an inclusion celebration.”

Several people have come forward through the Facebook page to volunteer for the events and Blackwood said more are welcome. They can also reach the committee at kincardinepride@gmail.com.

“It’s about creating awareness,” Blackwood said of forming the organization. “This is a community where the sign on the highway says, ‘You are a stranger only once.’ It’s a welcoming town and a safe place.”

Smith said Kincardine Pride is a community initiative.

“This is very much a gay-straight alliance and that is what we want it to be.”