Central PA's LGBT News Source
The board of directors of the Lehigh Valley's two leading LGBT cultural organizations, Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center and Pride of the Greater Lehigh Valley, have unanimously expressed intent to merge in the long term interest of the LGBT community in the region.
Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center provides arts, health, and youth programs for the LGBT community across seven counties in Eastern Pennsylvania. Headquartered in downtown Allentown, the center currently employs five full-time and three part-time employees. Pride of the Greater Lehigh Valley has produced Allentown's annual Pride in the Park Festival for 24 years and is an all-volunteer organization.
The terms of the merger maintain the leadership structure of Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, but add a volunteer-composed Pride Festival Planning Committee which will work with Center staff to produce the annual festival.
Shawn Bausher, president of Pride of the Greater Lehigh Valley, stated, "As our Board of Directors considered the upcoming 25th year of Pride in the Park, we wanted to be sure the festival could continue well into the future. This proposed merger will add professional staffing to support the festival and will also lead to more resources for our community by cutting out duplicative administrative costs between the two organizations. Our Board is very enthusiastic about this proposed merger. Our current board leaders plan to continue to stay involved with festival planning through the Pride Festival Planning Committee at Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center and we are grateful that The Center is willing to take this on."
Adrian Shanker, executive director of Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, stated: "Our organization also started as an all-volunteer organization, so we understand how all-consuming it is for volunteer leaders to manage a non-profit, let alone produce an annual festival. We look forward to continuing to work with volunteers to produce an annual LGBT pride festival and we hope that through this merger, the festival can be stronger than ever before."