David Cooley and Pulse Nightclub owner Barbara Poma have announced a fundraiser for the onePULSE Foundation to be held at The Abbey on Monday, June 5, to mark the first anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub tragedy, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, which occurred on June 12 of last year. Several survivors will be attending and sharing their stories.
The night begins at 7pm with a ticketed cocktail reception and seated multi-course dinner at The Chapel at the Abbey, co-hosted by Cooley and Poma. The $150 tickets are limited to 125 people and 100 percent of the ticket sales will go to onePULSE Foundation.
Next door at The Abbey, which will remain open to all and accepting donations at the door, a special charity drag show hosted by Allusia will begin at 9:30 pm. Sasha Colby, Jessica Wild, Misty Violet, Barbie’s Addiction, Calypso Jette as well as others will be performing.
“This was the worst massacre against the LGBT community in American history and it took place in a nightclub, a safe space for the community, and something that is very personal to me,” said Cooley. “I had the opportunity to host Barbara and some of the survivors at The Abbey a few months ago and it was a life-changing experience. I want each of the survivors and victims’ families to know that we are still with you and we will make sure the world remembers your stories.”
Donations to onePULSE Foundation will help build and maintain a memorial and museum as well as provide educational scholarships and community grants to care for survivors and victims’ families.
Tickets for the dinner as well as limited reserved seating for the drag show are available at theabbeyweho.com/onepulse.
Long Beach Pride will also honor those killed in the shooting. Milan D’Marco and Brian Reagan, themselves survivors of the tragedy, will be paying tribute to the victims prior to the start of the Long Beach Pride Parade on May 21. The special tribute will begin at 9:30 am at the parade grandstand on Ocean Boulevard between Junipero and Cherry avenues in Long Beach. The parade begins at 10:30 am the same day.
“We are very much honored to join Long Beach Pride and the LGBTQ Long Beach community for this special tribute,” Reagan said in the statement. “As a survivor, that terrible day has forever changed me as a person. As a member of the international LGBTQ community, I know now more than ever that it is my duty to encourage love in all lives so that we all can heal together to prevent such atrocities against the human race.”
The Pulse Nightclub tragedy became the deadliest terrorist attack ever suffered on U.S. soil by a single gunman when a shooter opened fire in the Orlando nightclub, killing 49 people and injuring almost 60 more.