Nashville Pride elections set for August 28

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Members of Nashville Pride—Nashville’s GLBT organization responsible for organizing the annual pride festival—will go to the polls on Monday, August 28 to elect several new officers, including a president and vice president.

Pride officers and board members are important—they help oversee the annual Pride Festival that has become big business—it has an annual budget of more than $65,000 and drew more than 15, 000 people this past June.

Financially the group ended the festival year in “the black” explained Todd Grantham, current Nashville Pride, Inc. (NPI), president. But, he added, “we have very little cushion left in the bank.” He said the annual festival costs exceeded $65,000.

“It takes a lot of money,” Grantham said. “Tents, renting Centennial Park, paying for police officers, the parade, shutting down the street, and getting all of those required city permits (beer, alcohol, parade), all add up.”

Which is why he said the group has already started fundraising for next year’s festival. Planning is underway for Pride’s “Package Auction”—to be held on December 2. Organizers hope to raise $15,000 at the event.

A separate scholarship fund of $2,000 remains intact for this year. Grantham said no applications were made this year to use any of the money.

Grantham, who served as secretary for NPI in 2003 and 2004, was elected president in 2005, said he would be seeking office of president again.

“I will seek the president’s office again,” Grantham said.

Professionally Grantham serves as the state director of communications and marketing for the Tennessee Chapter of the March of Dimes. He received his undergraduate degree from Francis Marion University and his master’s from the University of South Carolina.

In order to vote in the election, NPI bylaws require that you be a member 28 days before the election. The cost of membership is $10 per year. You must be a member to vote or run for a position.

But Grantham said for those who were not members—he wanted their involvement.

“If anyone is interested in volunteering and getting involved in the community, please come out,” he said. “We are still looking for chairs for different committees, including a sponsorship chair.”

He said he had appointed a few chairs already to head up the volunteer committees. Dan Sullivan will head up the team of volunteers as the volunteer chair and Douglas Sladen has agreed to be the festival chair.

One familiar face will not be running for re-election on the NPI board. John Wade, who served as chief financial officer for the organization, will not seek re-election. Wade recently took the helm as president of the Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce.

Positions to be elected include president, vice president, secretary, CFO, membership chair and five member-at-large board positions.

Elections will be held on August 28 at Tribe at 6 p.m. For more information visit www.nashvillepride.org. A board meeting will be held immediately after the elections.