Contact: Sara Grossman
Tel. (727) 560-6476
THE DRU PROJECT'S SECOND ANNUAL MEMORIAL PARTY AND FUNDRAISER WILL BE JUNE 10, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Orlando, FL — The Dru Project will be celebrating its second year as an organization on June 10, 2018.
Founded in 2016 after the Pulse shooting, The Dru Project has seen a lot of success in two short years. They have spoken to LGBTQ+ youth and gun violence prevention advocates in 10 states, reaching nearly 350,000 people. They have also raised nearly $100,000 to help empower LGBTQ+ youth.
Christopher Andrew Leinonen, known to friends as Drew, was one of the 49 victims on June 12, 2016. Shortly after his funeral, Drew’s friends banded together to help launch The Dru Project, named after his online persona. This year, they are giving away $15,000 in scholarships to LGBTQ+ youth, have already given away $5,000 in grants to 10 different gay-straight alliances, and will be launching and distributing their official gay-straight alliance curriculum for Florida high schools.
“We have so much to be proud of this year. We know that we are doing this work for the right reasons: to keep the spirit of Drew alive. The scholarships, curriculum, and coming together to celebrate once again does just that,” said Shawn Chaudhry, co-founder and president of the board.
“Our goal is to be able to help send as many future LGBTQ+ leaders to school as possible. Right now, the youth are leading the way, and we need to make sure they have the tools available to do that,” said Brandon Wolf, The Dru Project’s vice-president.
This year’s event takes place at The Abbey (100 S Eola Dr #100, Orlando, FL 32801) from 6 until 10pm. The Dru Project has celebrity friends flying in from around the country, too: Jonathan Bennett of Mean Girls fame and his partner Jaymes Vaughan will be hosting the event. Jai Rodriguez, who played Angel in RENT on Broadway and starred in the original Queer Eye for the Straight Guy will be flying in for the party to perform a few songs. The Dru Project is also excited to welcome renowned poet Azure Antoinette to Orlando to perform poems about Pulse, as well.
The Dru Project is an LGBTQ+ advocacy organization on a mission to spread love across the nation and promote gay straight alliances. They are doing this by creating a curriculum for high school GSAs to use, should they wish to adopt our program. They are also offering scholarships to students who truly exemplify Drew's spirit for inclusion and unity.