(June 9) — The Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Center of Central PA and the York Revolution announced today the recipients of the first Pride MVP Awards, which the organizations will present during the team’s LGBTQ Pride Night on Wednesday, June 14, at PeoplesBank Park.
Created to honor members of the York community who have demonstrated an extraordinary dedication to advancing equality and inclusion, particularly for the LGBTQ community, the awards will be presented during a special pre-game ceremony before the Revolution’s 6:30 p.m. game against the New Britain Bees. Gates will open at 5:30 p.m.
LGBT Center Executive Director Louie Marven will join Revolution President Eric Menzer in presenting Pride MVP Awards to the following honorees:
• Carla Christopher, equity coordinator for the York County School of Technology, regional organizer for Put People First Pennsylvania, and founder of Equality Fest and Equality Fest Junior
• Bryan Tate, vice president and chief development officer of the York County Community Foundation
• Reverend William Sowers, retired pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and founder of Pennsylvania’s first chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (P-FLAG)
• Cindy Mitzel of the National Organization for Women’s York County and Pennsylvania Chapters and a longtime member of the Lesbian Alliance of South Central Pennsylvania
• Delma and Peg Welch, founders of the Lesbian Alliance of South Central Pennsylvania ; members of the York County Federation of Democratic Women, ACLU, Human Rights Campaign, and Southern Poverty Law Center; and renowned advocates for marriage equality
• Charles Kress, co-chair of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (P-FLAG) York, former member of YCAT’s “Gay York Live” talk show, and organizer of the Martin Memorial Library’s Pride Month window displays
• Elodia Barajas, parent liaison for the School District of the City of York
“York is a better place because of the ceaseless efforts of these members of our community,” said Marven. “They have led the charge in making this great city a safer and more inclusive area for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, but they have never taken any of the advancements they’ve helped create for granted. They continue not just to inspire but to actively lead, and it’s a pleasure to be part of an event that will thank them for it.”
“Our recipients have given so much of their energy, passion, and talent to helping make York a welcoming environment for all,” said Menzer. “As an organization that shares and actively works toward that same goal for each person that enters our ballpark, we are honored to join the LGBT Center and our community in commending these honorees. They are truly MVPs.”
LGBTQ Pride Night will also feature a pre-game presentation by former Major League Baseball and Atlantic League pitcher Joe Valentine, who will address an invited audience of York and Adams County high school and college athletic directors and coaches regarding issues of homophobia in athletics. Valentine will also address the evening’s larger crowd and throw out a ceremonial first pitch.
The night will also feature a pre-game recognition of LGBTQ members of the armed forces, a parade around the field featuring rainbow flags presented by Equality Fest, an official proclamation from the City of York, performances by the Harrisburg Gay Men’s Chorus and UCC Open and Affirming Singers, and more.
Members of the public may also purchase tickets for the private Joe Valentine speaking appearance, which includes a game ticket and two-hour all-you-can-eat buffet, for $30. Gates will open early at 4:30 p.m. for attendees. Click on “Home Run Patio” among the ticket selections for the June 14 game
, or call the Apple Chevrolet Ticket Office at (717) 801-HITS to purchase tickets.