Nashville Pride saddled with debt from 2008 festival

The 2008 Nashville Pride Festival, in which the group celebrated its 20th year, has put the organization more than $13,000 in debt and has its new leadership team looking for ways to clear the debt as “quickly as possible.”

Outgoing (and interim appointed) Chief Financial Officer Keith Kidwell told Our Pride Encompasses Nashville (Nashville Pride) members at the Aug. 18 meeting that the group had just over $100 in a First Tennessee savings account, and $3,206 in a checking account. He presented a report that showed the group owes $13,927. A total of $5,250 is money which the group hopes to collect - but that will still leave Nashville Pride with more than $5,000 in the red.

“We’ve got an immediate need to pay down this debt,” said new Pride President Pam Wheeler. “We are going to need the support of Nashville’s GLBT community to give whatever they can so that we can eliminate this debt, and move forward with plans for the 2009 festival.”

Wheeler said the new board would meet within the week to develop more specific fundraising plans.

Kidwell’s report may have been a surprise to many of the Pride members. At a June 30 meeting, outgoing President Douglas Sladen (who was vice president, took over earlier this year after Brad Bennett stepped down as president) told Pride members that the group “currently has $11,000 dollars in the bank.”

Sladen said he expected OPEN “will have about $4,000 remaining in the bank after expenses are paid and sponsorship money trickles in and outstanding checks clear."

The 2008 Pride festival cost more than $35,000, not including the cost of the Pride Scholarship or Pride Week activities, Sladen said

"We have enough money to pay the bills," Sladen said at the June 30 meeting. "But we need a lot of fundraisers to pay for Pride."

It was unclear after the August 18 meeting how much the festival actually cost versus the $75,000 that was budgeted.

A check registry that was handed out at the August 18 meeting showed Nashville Pride started off 2008 with $1,900 in the bank. 

One of the largest expenses for the year included a payment of $10,444 for the performers Christine with Ultra Nate.

The group showed fixed expenses of $206 a month.

Outstanding debt includes:

Hertz Equipment Rental - $324.29
BMI General Licensing - $203.00
Metro Police Department - $1,200
T-Shirts- $2,000
Balloons - $1,200
Tents - $9,000

Uncollected Funds:

Verizon - $750
Best Buy - $1,000
Radisson Hotel Nashville Airport - $3,000

Photo by Margo Amala on Unsplash

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