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Equality Florida’s Pulse Victims Fund surpasses $7 million

An online fundraiser for the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting set up by Equality Florida has raised more than $7 million.

The group, the primary statewide organization advocating for gay and lesbian rights in Florida, launched the GoFundMe.com site shortly after the shooting massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando that killed 49 people and injured dozens more took place last month. Organizers say the original intent was to raise $100,000, which quickly shot up to $1 million. And it’s only grown since then.

The total amount collected to date is $6.9 million, raised from over 117,000 contributors from 120 countries. Combined with offline fundraising efforts, officials say total contributions now exceed $7 million.

“The outpouring of love and support from across the globe has been overwhelming,” said Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith on Wednesday. “We are grateful for the small-dollar gifts that comprise the bulk of this fund, and contributions from those who have used their positions of power to support the victims and families.”

The vast majority of contributions are small-dollar gifts, with less than 700 donations for $1,000 or more. Contributors include the Tampa Bay Rays, along with actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson, California’s Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Stuart Milk (the nephew of the late Harvey Milk), and Lena Dunham.

Earlier today, GLAAD and Interscope Records released “Hands,” a musical tribute to the victims of Orlando, featuring 24 musical artists, including Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Lopez, and Gwen Stefani. Proceeds from the sale of the new tribute single in the United States will benefit the Pulse Victims Fund, the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida, and GLAAD.

Written By

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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