Last night (June 23), Pulse Nightclub held its first event since a mass shooting inside the LGBTQ club killed 49 people and injured 53 more.
Held in Thornton Park, two miles away from the physical venue, Pulse owner Barbara Poma hosted a block-party fundraiser for the club's employees, who haven't been able to work since the incident. (Its resident DJs are also seeking gigs.) The theme for the event was Latin, a nod to the Latin night that had taken place the night of the shooting. According to the Orlando Sentinel, over 1,000 people attended the event, which cost $20 for admission and featured live performances from Latin artists, as well as Pulse shirts and bracelets for sale.
"We need to show that we are strong, that Pulse continues and that we appreciate all the help the community has shown us," Poma told NPR.
The Sentinel also reports that during the party, Erwynn Umali and Will Behrens, the first gay couple to be married on a military base, presented Poma with a rainbow-colored wreath from a color run at McGuire Air Force Base, which participants dedicated to Pulse victims. Also gifted to Poma was a copy of President Obama's pride month proclamation, which was signed by the runners.
Watch WPTV News' coverage of the block party below.