Non-profits Are Popping Up Left and Right to Help the Victims of Orlando

In the wee hours of June 12, a gunman entered Pulse nightclub in Orlando and opened fire, killing 49 people and injuring dozens of others. The world immediately went into action, sending prayers, condolences, social media shout outs, blood donations — and cash.

Equality Florida set up a GoFundMe account the very same day and so far has raised more than $7.5 million to support the victims of the shooting, as well as their families and survivors. Since then, the nonprofit has teamed up with other organizations to combine funds. With so many nonprofits (and some scams) and the city of Orlando helping, it can get confusing with where to donate.

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This ‘gas highway’ across the Southeast is angering everyone in its path


Photo courtesy of Jim Tatum

When Jeb and Bob Bell’s mother was diagnosed with bone cancer in 1985, she purchased 100 acres of land in Mitchell County, Georgia, to grow timber on. She wanted her sons taken care of if she didn’t make it, and for them to have something they could pass on to their own children.

She survived the cancer, but a new threat to the land has emerged. Today, private companies want to build a natural gas pipeline through the Bell’s land to run south into neighboring Florida.

“In 2014 we received a letter saying they were interested in coming down through here and putting in the pipeline,” said Jeb Bell, a resource manager at Georgia State Parks. “I sent them a letter telling them to stay off my land. I did not want them on my land. Who in their right mind would want a 36-inch pipeline three feet under the ground in proximity of their house?”

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Cool in the Heat

Think we can’t do cooler-months fashions in South Florida? Think again. We went to some of Fort Lauderdale’s most fashionable shops for tips and trends – and found northern style with Florida flair.

As the summer drips away into the fall, stylists, boutiques, and fashion houses are swapping out light, playful fabrics for layers, darker hues and warm knits.

Not in South Florida — right? A place where people can enjoy a day at the beach into the new year and locals celebrate a dip into the low 80s, the region seems to be in a perpetual summer, save for the three days a year a “cold front” comes through. A place where we have to settle for flipping through magazine and Instagram posts of clothes and accessories that just won’t work.

Not so fast, local fashion experts say.

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The Heart of Mormon Country Honors Harvey Milk

Driving through Salt Lake City, Utah, visitors and residents alike will now see 20 blocks of road named after LGBT icon and activist, Harvey Milk.

The initiative was spearheaded by Equality Utah and the street was renamed in May.

“We were looking at the landscape of our city,” said Troy Williams, executive director of Equality Utah. “We had Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, we had Cesar Chavez and Rosa Parks, and we thought Harvey needs to be here as well. He needs to take his place alongside these civil rights icons.”

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My305Style: Nino Pernetti

For the past 27 years, Coral Gables’ venerable Caffe Abbracci has served as a home away from home for celebrities, politicians and regular folks. The restaurant’s dapper, Italian-born owner shows us how he compiles his look.

24-57THE SHADES “I look like James Dean when I wear these! Glasses you can’t fake. You have to look good,k you have to look smart. You have to look like you came out of GQ magazine.” $300 Persol sunglasses, Italian eyewear, 204 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables; 305-591-0770;

THE SWEATER “Loro Piana is made from the world’s softest cashmere. The sweater gives me a warm glow of happiness.” $1,150, Loro Piana, 9700 Collins Avenue, Bal Harbour; 305-867-1680;

THE DISH “Simple dishes are always the best. I love fish. We do a lot of branzino. We just put it in the oven, a little fresh rosemary, Italian parsley, a drizzle of lemon and olive oil It’s like a  gastronomical orgasm.” Caffe Abbracci, 318 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables; 305-441-0700;


Read the rest at Indulge magazine online.

The New Jersey Four: 10 Years Later


From left, Venice Brown, Terrain Dandridge, Patreese Johnson, and Renata Hill

It was 10 years ago that the New Jersey Four’s night went from a fun evening out with friends to a fight for their lives.

Since then, they’ve sat through a grueling trial, served time in prison, appealed their sentences and are working to get back to normal life — but that night a decade ago is never far from their thoughts.

“People are still dying. My LGBT community is still at risk,” said Renata Hill, one of the New Jersey Four. “The world is still not accepting us … 10 years ago it was a group of 7 females who defended themselves and we were blessed to walk away from that situation alive. Ten years later, 49 people are gone and 50 are injured [in Orlando].”

In August 2006, a group of seven black, lesbian women planned a day in New York City to shop and bar hop. In their late teens to mid-20s, the New Jersey residents were excited about the fun to come. As they walked in the wee hours of the morning in front of a Greenwich Village movie theater, a man hawking DVDs called out to them.

Dwayne Buckle claims he told one of girls, Patreese Johnson, she was pretty and the group immediately attacked him. The women though tell a very different story.

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The Advocate: Vance Aloupis

A champion of children and education reform, Vance Aloupis left a career in law in 2010 to join the startup Children’s Movement of Florida. Six years later, the father of two girls has risen to lead the nonprofit as its new CEO. He talked with INDULGE about getting healthcare access for Florida kids and about getting his own kids to bed.

You’ve been with the foundation since its beginning. What led you there?

“It was really an aligning of interests — a passion for politics, public policy, and a real interest in education reform — that led me to the organization. We’ve been in existence now for six years, and we’ve built a solid base of almost 100,000 supporters across the state, and we’ve begun to make real progress.

Why are children’s causes important to you?

“My passion has always been education reform. When I was in law school, the vast majority of my time as teaching in a juvenile correction center in Miami-Dade. While I was doing my best to help these young men, so many of the issues that are dealing with were lack of investments far earlier in their life.”


Read the rest at Indulge magazine online.

The College Cash Conundrum

In May and June, thousands of students walked across stages all over the state, clothed in caps with dangling tassels, robes and the pride of accomplishment. After years of study, these college students were handed a piece of paper telling the world they had a degree – and for nearly half of them, debt. While 51 percent of Florida’s students graduate debt free, the others are handed a diploma at their commencement ceremony and, on average, a bill for $11,500, according to the Florida State Board of Governors.

For years, parents have sat around kitchen tables calculating how much of their paychecks needs to go into a savings account for their children to go to college. Luckily, they’re already in good hands by being in Florida.

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How to fix Florida’s unbearable, sewage-driven algae blooms before they get worse

MIAMI—When Nadia Smart and her husband moved from Okeechobee to Stuart, FL, last fall, they were looking forward to spending the summer kayaking and swimming.

A year later, they haven’t been able to do any of that.

“We bought our house here because we like the beaches, we like the waterways, and we can’t use them,” she said. “It’s just been a dead summer, it’s sad.”

For the Smarts and other residents on Florida’s Treasure Coast a few hours north of Miami, the summer has been marred by an infestation of cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae.

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Strike a Pose at the W Fort Lauderdale


When people ask if I’m a yogi, I respond: Um, define yogi?

I enjoy the practice, I have a studio I like going to, but I’m in no way a yoga master destined for a retreat on a mountain top in Nepal to meditate for four days straight. However, poolside at the W Fort Lauderdale? I can handle that.

The hotel is hosting an outdoor class during the sunset on July 29 at 8 p.m. with Tara Stiles, who founded Strala Yoga studio in New York City and has also ventured into writing her own cookbook, fitness writing, and a clothing collaboration with Reebok. She will lead an hour-long class by the hotel’s WET Deck — other fun activities during the yoga event include mini treatments from Bliss Spa, music from DJ Jonny Eso, and food from her “Make Your Own Rules” cookbook.

Never done yoga before? No worries, when poses get too difficult, you can move into child’s pose or shavasana and it’ll still be considered a successful yoga practice. Yogis are flexible like that; no pun intended.

I’m especially eager to attend this event after the fun I had at the hotel’s “Once in a Blue Moon” yoga night, fit with glow-in-the-dark paint, music, kombucha, and snacks. Plus, with plans to meet up with friends for a night out afterwards, it’ll be like all the calories I’m going to consume never happened (that’s how it works, right?).



Where: W Fort Lauderdale, 401 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale

Time: Registration starts at 7 p.m. and Tara will hit the mat at 8 p.m.

Tickets: $20


Notes: Bring your own mat!