Leadership Steamboat leads series of events to raise awareness, money | SteamboatToday.com

Leadership Steamboat leads series of events to raise awareness, money

The Leadership Steamboat Class of 2023 is partnering with Yampa Valley Pride to host a series of events in June to raise awareness and funds for a future resource center.
Leadership Steamboat/Courtesy photo

This year’s Leadership Steamboat Class is working on a project aimed at raising awareness, as well as money, to help create a safe and accepting place for the LGBTQ+ community in Steamboat Springs.

“Leadership Steamboat is leading a series of events leading up to our Pride festival, and the intention behind the event is to raise money for an LGBTQ Resource Center or advocacy program of some kind,” said Chelsie Holmes, board chair for Yampa Valley Pride. “Since Yampa Valley Pride’s inception a couple of years ago, a lot of issues in the queer community have come to light — and we feel, and a lot of our community partners like REPs, The Health Partnership and Northwest Colorado Health, and the schools, we’ve all kind of identified a need for a centralized resource just for LGBTQ people.”

This year’s leadership group will host awareness and fundraising events during the first two weeks of June. The idea is to cultivate safety and inclusivity for the LGBTQ+ community in Routt County and to raise funds for a future resource center in Steamboat Springs. This year’s Leadership Steamboat Class includes 17 members, who voted to pursue this project.

“Every year we meet with people in the community and kind of decide what the need is,” said Jessica Lackey, who is leading marketing efforts for the class. “After meeting with everybody and kind of taking in what we all know, Julia Luciano-Burns from our class proposed the idea.”

Luciano-Burns, program director and forensic interviewer for Brighter World Advocacy Center, offered the results of a survey that revealed 85% of LGBTQ+ respondents felt unsafe in Routt County.

“We kind of went over the numbers locally and kind of decided that that was a big need that we could help address, and also help promote inclusivity,” Lackey said. “We voted on it, and that’s the one that won overall.”

Lackey said the group really isn’t sure what the resource center would look like.

“This could really be something big, or it could be something a little bit smaller,” Lackey said. “What we want to do is get that seed money going to hopefully start it out, and kind of see what grows from there. Hopefully, other people in the community feel the same way, and we’re hopefully getting other people who donate at the events, and then we’re hoping to have some people match the funds as well. That’s still in the works.”

The leadership class has teamed up with the Barley to host Pints for Pride, with high school students to host a community dinner and with the Steamboat Resort to host a family-friendly movie night June 9 featuring “Strange World.”

The exact dates are still being finalized, but Jessica Lackey with Leadership Steamboat said that all the events will take place in June leading up to Yampa Valley Pride’s 2023 Pridefest, which is slated to take place from noon-3 p.m. June 10 on the Routt County Courthouse lawn at 522 Lincoln Ave.

Lackey expects Pints for Pride to kick things off the first week of June, with 20% of the proceeds from the event going to a fund to help create the resource center. That evening will feature prize giveaways and lots of fun.

The leadership group is also working with students from Yampa Valley High School and other area high schools to host a community dinner. The exact time, day and place is still being worked out. That event will be followed by the movie at the Steamboat Resort.

In addition, the group will have a tent at the Steamboat Farmers Market on June 10 leading up to Pridefest.

“I think it’s huge that a group of community leaders have chosen this project and is really making a loud and clear statement that LGBTQ people are valued as a valued part of this community,” Holmes said.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.