Youth Pride event Aug. 12

The fourth-annual Justin’s Gift LGBTQ Youth Pride event – a celebration of students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, two-spirited, and their ally friends – takes place 4:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 12 at the Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park (Pavillions 1 and 3), 9750 Egret Blvd. NW, Coon Rapids.

“Community members are pulling together to put on an entertaining and empowering event to insure our youth know things will get better,” as stated in a press release describing the event, which extends an invitation “to everyone: LGBTQ youth, their families, their friends, community members, and neighbors in other communities who are willing to show support for these youth and their allies.”

Getting a rainbow-colored butterfly painted on your arm was one of many activities offered in a crafts area at last year’s LGBTQ Youth Pride event. File photo by Eric Hagen

Getting a rainbow-colored butterfly painted on your arm was one of many activities offered in a crafts area at last year’s LGBTQ Youth Pride event. File photo by Eric Hagen

The free event features raffles and prizes, food and beverage, kickball, volleyball, theater games, face painting, relay races, craft tables, information booths, and more activities and attractions for folks of all ages.

About Justin’s Gift

Born out of the tragedies experienced by some LGBT youth, Justin’s Gift was created in memory of Justin Aaberg, a 15-year-old Anoka-Hennepin School District student who took his own life on July 9, 2010 after experiencing verbal and physical harassment due to his sexual orientation.

Justin’s Gift works to establish safe environments where young people can be themselves in a bully-free zone, achieve self-confidence, and be proud of who they are.

Justin’s Gift is a member of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.

To learn more about Justin’s Gift visit JustinsGift.org.

Sue Austreng is at sue.austreng@ecm-inc.com

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