Donations from summer fundraisers organized by the Service’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer Internal Support Network (LBGTQ-ISN) were presented to several organizations in the last few weeks.
The funds accrued from a First Responders Pride Party silent auction last June, the sale of rainbow Pride epaulettes worn on by Toronto officers, Pride & Trans pins and Pride Challenge coins were presented to several charities, including Fife House, PFLAG Toronto, Two-Spirited People of the First Nations, Sara’s Ride, Montego Bay Pride, David Kelley Services and the YMCA’s Sprott House.
The Toronto Police Association, Toronto Professional Firefighters Association and Toronto Paramedics Association co-sponsored the First Responder’s Party silent auction and the Toronto Police Senior Officers Organization provided seed money to kick-start the fundraisers. ISN members also raised $1,000 by acting as servers during a fundraising event.
“We raised $7,500 from these events,” said Detective Henry Dyck who with Constable Patty Retsinas co-chair the Service’s LBGTQ-ISN.
The largest amount, $2,000, was presented to Sprott House, which is a refuge for LGBTQ homeless youth.
“It’s the only one of its kind in the city, it is always full and there is a long waiting list,” said Dyck. “That why they were a priority for us.”
He said the money will be used to fund some of Sprott House’s programs.
Superintendent Robert Johnson said he’s honoured to be one of the advisors associated with the LBGTQ-ISN.
“They are changing lives and building stronger relationships everywhere. I commend them for their continued dedication and support not only within the Service but also within the communities they serve,” Johnson said. “They continually put the needs and interests of others above anything else and represent all of us admirably.”