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Joel Stedman, one of Miami Beach Gay Pride’s founding board members, has been named the new chairman of the organization. The sixth annual installment of the popular community-wide event will take place April 11 – 13, 2014.

Prior to being elected chair, Stedman served on the volunteer board as the director of the Pride Festival. He is an owner of one of South Beach’s favorite hot spots, Twist, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.

“One of my goals as chair is to increase fundraising for next year’s Pride,” Stedman said. “People in the community don’t necessarily realize that Pride is a stand-alone, non-profit entity supported by sponsorships and individual donations. It takes a lot of money to produce a free event.”

Since its inception five years ago, Miami Beach Gay Pride has grown from a neighborhood event to an event on the global stage with A-list performers like Adam Lambert last April. Attendance has grown as well. An estimated 15,000 spectators turned out for the first Pride parade in 2009; an estimated 80,000 attended the 2013 event which attracted not only South Floridians, but also visitors from throughout the world. In addition to Parade spectators, last April’s event included 66 parade entries and 1,200 participants. The Pride Festival which followed featured 125 LGBT-friendly vendors and businesses, plus refreshments, two stages of entertainment, a family-friendly play area and fireworks.

The mission of Miami Beach Gay Pride is to bring together members and allies of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in celebration of the unique spirit and culture of the LGBT community. The all-volunteer Pride board produces safe, quality, mass-appeal events that are open to the entire community, including the Parade, Festival and allied Miami Beach Gay Pride sanctioned events. Miami Beach Gay Pride is produced with the support of the Miami Beach Visitors and Convention Authority.  For more information, visit www.miamibeachgaypride.com.

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