...A Final Thanks

by Michael Mahler

Since this will be the final printed issue of the Erie Gay News, we wanted to dedicate a fair amount of time and space to say thank you to all who have supported us over the past 7 years. We are grateful to them and without them, we would not have been able to do it.

The following list is in alphabetical order. Although there are many people who have helped our community as a whole, this list thanks those who helped with the newsletter. If we have unintentionally missed anyone, please accept our sincerest apologies.

Thank Youto:

Our Advertisers: who helped provide a free publication to our community. Without them this publication would not exist. Please look through the pages of this issue and previous issues and make a note of them and support them! And let them know where you saw their ad so they know how much their support has been appreciated.

Bridges: In the early years, the newsletter was a publication of an organization called Bridges, which worked to "Build Community" among GLBT people and allies. Some crucial funding for early issues came from Bridges dances and a book sale. Thanks to Greg Valiga, Paul Grubbs, Danny B, Jacquelyn, Karyn, Laura, Mary K, Pete, Sharon and Tim.

Brighidshaven Coven: who provided talent, help and inspiration in our early years. Thanks to Paula for her wonderful artwork.

Our Collators: who helped put together the publications each month.

Our Contributors: who wrote articles, got us information and helped us get information to our community.

Abby Conley: Our staunchest ally for the GLBT community as a whole. As a member of the Erie Bicentennial Commission in 1995, Abby helped make the decision to put the Erie Gay Community Newsletter into the time capsule, as well as actively supporting (and riding in!) the "gay float" in the Bicentennial Parade. In the face of virulent criticism, she defended her decision to include the gay community in the Bicentennial Celebration. She took the potentially dangerous ride with the gay float and endured fears of homophobic derision on a local hate radio station.

Christelle Decrease: who helped promote the newsletter in its early years while she was a manager at Cup-a-Ccino's.

Delta Foundation: For their financial support.

Distributors: The businesses, organizations, individuals and churches that provided access to the publication.

Erie Instant Printing: Throughout most of our years, owner Themos Farantzos provided us with the best prices in town, enabling us to publish a substantially sized publication, even on a chronically-restricted budget.

Lambda Foundation: The Pittsburgh based GLBT fund in 1993 awarded us a $1500 grant and took out a year's worth of advertising. Their money and advice about obtaining advertising helped the publication get its financial footing. Thanks to Jeannette for her invaluable help in writing the grant.

Harry Miller: For his financial support, for hosting the St. Valentine's Dinners and for being an inspiration.

Micheal Miller: For his art work, layout skills, and being coeditor for the past year. Oh yeah, and for being a wonderful husband.

Jeri Quigley: Former owner of Cup-a-Ccino's whose generous financial support of the Erie Gay News often got us through some very lean times. At one time her support made the difference between survival and ceasing publication.

Our Readers: who supported this newsletter in so many ways, financially, emotionally, etc.

Smokey Joe: Our late, great feline mascot, who often helped us laugh our way through the final grueling stages of the newsletter's production until he died in 1996.

Deb Spilko: For being the principal writer of the newsletter for 6 of the 7 years we have been around. Her contributions to the newsletter were enormous and her dedication was both professional and saintly. This newsletter could never have existed in its current form without her commitment. In a real sense she WAS the voice of the newsletter for the bulk of those years. She can't be thanked enough.

Unitarian-Universalist Congregation of Erie: This congregation has always been a welcoming place for our community, for Bridges fundraising events, and a place for our publication to be distributed.

Greg Valiga: Who until 1997 wrote high quality articles, especially on rights issues and an inspiring personal account of the struggle to get the "Gay float" into the Erie Bicentennial Parade, as well as for proofreading.

Gary Yuhas: For his excellent proofreading when the newsletter became a swarm of black ants for those of us doing the principal writing, entering and editing of its content and for his advice.

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