Special thanks to meeting reporter, Brad Barber
Short Program – Egan Orion Executive Director Seattle PrideFest

Egan Orion is in his 17th year as the executive director of PrideFest. Egan shared some history on the gay rights movement origins which include the Stonewall uprising in Greenwich Village, NYC on June 28th, 1969. In June 1970, there was the first annual memorialization of that weekend and little by little this celebration spread to different cities and the first pride weekend came to Seattle in 1974. At that time Pioneer Square was the gay cultural center of Seattle. We’re approaching our 50th anniversary of Pride in Seattle in 2024.
Egan acknowledged ups and downs in the continued struggle for equality. “There’s movement forward and then there are a couple steps back. This is why we have Pride every year because we can’t take our rights for granted, there are vulnerable communities within our community that need to be fought for”. It was announced that this year Rotary 4 will be marching in the Pride Parade on June 25th. “You may not be part of the LGBTQ community, but you can be a good ally by also showing up to support those of us in the community”. Seattle is one of the biggest Pride celebrations in the country. We host about 200,000 people each Pride weekend with 300,000 showing up to attend the parade.
Long Program – Todd Humphrey, Seattle Kraken
Todd was born and raised in Toronto. He played college and semi-professional hockey prior to transitioning into technology. In 2016, a Seattle community advisory board was put together for the Key Arena remodel.  A “Hockey Guy” was needed, and Todd was that guy. The “Basketball Guy” turned out to be hall of famer Lenny Wilkins, which Todd looks back on as being quite intimidating. The arena remodel was challenging in most part due to the “Do not touch the roof mandate”. The roof weighs 44 million pounds and was supported while digging out the base of the arena.
Part of securing an NHL team involves obtaining 10,000 deposits for tickets. It took the Las Vegas Knights about 6 weeks to get these 10,000 deposits paid. It took Seattle just 12 minutes to get these 10,000 deposits paid. The Kraken dropped the puck in October 2021, and just finished their second season. There is a long history of hockey in Seattle, in 1917 we had the first U.S. based team to win the Stanley Cup.  Todd shared a few slides and highlighted how the players are embracing the community. Also notable is the amount of gear being worn by fans in each photo. The Kraken have been in the top 3 in the NHL ticket sales, sponsorship sales, and merchandise sales. In the last 30 days, the Kraken have sold an incredible 5,000 Jerseys. This success is due in large part to the recent play-off success and efforts of Todd and his team to make the Climate Pledge Arena experience better while getting better in every single facet of their organization. This includes Pride as part of an overall engagement for the community based on a mindset of “Is this the right the thing to do? Is this going to make the community better?”
Submitted by Brad Barber
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