Nex Benedict, Rest In Power.
Hate will never win. Together, we will rise with and alongside you.
Burlington's Church Street will be filled with glitter, love, and queer joy as Outright Vermont’s annual Fire Truck Pull returns on Saturday, September 30th at 11am to raise a record $200,000 - $75,000 more than last year's goal. In a time when Vermont's LGBTQ+ youth face escalating challenges caused by the current political and social climate, community members will rally together to raise money to support LGBTQ+ youth. LGBTQ+ youth, families, and other community members, united in purpose and spirit, will revel in the joy of community solidarity, celebrating resilience, and showcasing the power of collective action to bring about change.
Teams, many adorned in costumes, will come together to demonstrate their resolve as they take on the challenge of pulling a fully loaded fire truck. Supporters of LGBTQ+ youth are welcome to spectate, cheer, and enjoy the atmosphere of celebration filled with music, dancing, face painting, and more.
The ambitious fundraising target mirrors the urgency of our times, as LGBTQ+ youth face heightened vulnerabilities amidst the nation's organized anti-trans and queer campaigns.
"Our objective is clear, working alongside LGBTQ+ youth we will continue to have a robust response to the tidal wave of hate that’s sweeping the nation and seeping into Vermont communities. The $200,000 goal is a signal that we won’t back down and LGBTQ+ youth will continue to lead us forward as we bring more magic to youth in every corner of the state,” Executive Director, Dana Kaplan, states.
Understanding the urgent demands, LGBTQ+ youth organizers, backed by Outright, have initiated various campaigns to foster more supportive schools and communities. Concurrently, Outright has expanded its family programs and its social and support groups across the state. To broaden their reach, Outrights training and education offerings now feature online options and recently announced a webinar series in collaboration with the Vermont Higher Education Collaborative to support education professionals who aim to improve school climate and support LGBTQ+ youth.
“Together, the Vermont community is not just pulling a fire truck. They're pulling together for love, acceptance, and the right for everyone to be who they are,” says Kaplan.
The event is on Saturday, September 30 at the Top of Church Street, Burlington, kicking off at 11 am with a block party and teams will begin pulling at 12 pm. For more information about how to participate or to make a donation, supporters can go to outrightvt.org.