By Shar Lichty

Once again, the LGBTQ community came together to celebrate the contributions of some of its leaders and kick off Pride Week in Spokane with the Rainbow Awards. I attended the event once again to celebrate with my LGBT family and honor the award recipients. I was surprised and honored to learn of the several nominations PJALS had received. Those nominations were: Liz Moore (Director), Suzy Vennard and Justin Ellenbecker (Steering Committee members) for the Ally Award; PJALS for the Group Award; and myself for the Individual Award. Our work with the LGBTQ community is part of our human rights work and driven by our values of equal rights and opportunities for all. It is a terrific honor to be recognized for that work.

This year’s recipients were: Blaine Stum, Individual Award; Jon Snyder, Ally Award; Spokane Trans* People, Group Award; Mark Garrett, Over the Rainbow Award; and a Special Outreach Award went to Anne Martin with Greater Spokane Progress. I have been fortunate to work with and get to know almost all of these individuals over the past year and they are truly well-deserving of this honor. Congratulations to all the recipients and thank you to the Inland NW LGBT Center for sponsoring this year’s event.