ORLANDO, FL (June 12, 2021) AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today offers solidarity and strength with the entire Orlando community as the city marks the fifth anniversary Saturday of the senseless, brutal 2016 Pulse Nightclub attack on the LGBTQ community in Orlando, a city where AHF provides HIV/AIDS care and services including free HIV testing. The AHF-supported Impulse Group has one of its largest chapters in Orlando, and the Pulse nightclub was one of its major community partners.
“Five years on, our hearts remain heavy but hopeful today as we continue to mourn the senseless killing of forty-nine people and brutal injury of many others in a murderous act that devastated the entire Orlando community and much of the nation,” said Michael Kahane, southern bureau chief of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “It was both humbling and inspiring to see the entire Orlando community as well as LGBTQ+ communities nationwide come together as one in strength and love in the wake of such an unspeakable tragedy. However, in no way does it diminish the loss of these souls we continue to honor.”
“Then as now, an attack on any one of us is an attack on all of us,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “Today on this most solemn occasion, we offer strength and solidarity to the Orlando community and the entire LGBTQ+ community worldwide. We also vow to utilize the resources we have to continue to fight oppression, hate and stigma of all kind with all our might.”
Immediately after the attack, AHF established a fund to assist victims and survivors, set up and coordinated through The Center in Orlando. The fund aided countless members of the community whose lives were upended by the tragedy.
And on New Year’s Day 2017, AHF paid special tribute to the victims and community of Orlando when it dedicated its annual Rose Parade float entry to Orlando in a float titled “To Honor and Remember Orlando.” The float, with a soaring floral dove and 49 beautiful white floral stars commemorating each victim, earned an award from the Tournament of Roses for the most beautiful non-commercial float (Lathrop K. Leishman Trophy).
Recently, AHF also installed a giant wall mural of the Orlando tribute float in its Orlando Out of the Closet thrift store (1349 North Mills Avenue Orlando FL 32803)
Impulse United is a volunteer group of active gay men in collaboration with AHF whose purpose is to promote healthier lifestyles using modern social approaches. This Federation of groups accomplishes this vision through breaking social barriers in communities with such need.