Designated Charities of Reign XLIII
The first case of AIDS in Washington State was reported in 1982, and by 1985, the number of cases in Vancouver had increased dramatically. Over the next few years, a few concerned individuals and the newly organized Metropolitan Community Church of the Gentle Shepherd provided food, firewood, and emergency funds for those living with HIV/AIDS. In the early 1990s, efforts to serve Clark County residents infected with HIV/AIDS began to multiply. By 1995, a coalition of PWAs known as Life Force, a service agency called Evergreen AIDS Response, a hospice called St. Christopher’s House, and a food bank known as Martha’s Pantry had formed.
Today, only Martha’s Pantry continues to operate and is the only organization/agency in Clark County to serve this group of people. Staffed entirely by volunteers, the Pantry provides food, household cleaning products, personal hygiene items, and food for pets. Martha’s Pantry joined the Oregon Food Bank in 2008 and the Clark County Food Bank in 2009.
The pantry is funded entirely by donations and grants, including annual donations from the ISCRE since 1995. Pantry Director Vicki Smith and Pantry Manager Jeanie Harman are Honored Members of the ISCRE.
Since May 2016, when an arsonist destroyed the Pantry’s home at First Congregational United Church of Christ (UCC), the Pantry has occupied space in the Vancouver Heights United Methodist Church. Arrangements to return to renovated space in the UCC, hopefully in late 2017 or early 2018, are underway.
For more information on Martha’s Pantry, call 360-695-1480 or check their Facebook page.
Audria M. Edwards was a devoted mother of six children, four of whom – including Woody Johnson (aka Rose Empress XXIX Lady Elaine Peacock) and Misty Waters (aka Imperial Princess Royale XI) — were LGBT. Audria served as second president of the Portland, Oregon chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays and demonstrated her passion for continuing education by enrolling in college after her children became adults.
After Audria passed away in 1987, her children established a scholarship fund in her name and began raising funds to award the first scholarships in 1989 at a show called Peacock in the Park. When Lady Elaine Peacock and Misty Waters passed away in 1993, Rose Empress XXXVI Maria and Kimberlee Van Patten accepted responsibility for producing annual Peacock in the Park shows and administering the scholarship program. They formed a board of directors for Peacock Productions, Inc. and gained tax-exempt status from the IRS in 1999. Peacock Productions, Inc. has continued the tradition of annual shows in Portland’s Rose Garden Amphitheater to raise funds for the Scholarship Fund. The 30th Anniversary “Peacock in the Park” was held in 2017.
Since 1995. the ISCRE has provided annual awards supporting the Audria M. Edwards Scholarship Fund; ISCRE members have participated in Peacock in the Park and other fundraisers sponsored by Peacock Productions on multiple occasions. Maria, Kimberlee, and other current and former members of the board are Honored Members of the ISCRE.
The Pride of the Rose Scholarship Fund was founded in 1979 by Rose Emperor 5 Frank Schreckenberger and Rose Empress 21 Allison Grey (Curtis Meyers) of the Imperial Sovereign Rose Court. Administered through the Equity Foundation until late in 2016, the Fund is now administered through Pride Foundation. In 2004 Dwayne Witzel and Scot Bishop-Walker joined Frank and Curtis on the leadership time as an outcome of careful succession planning.
Scholarships are available to members of the LGBT communities and their children who reside in the Portland Quad-County area or Clark County Washington. Applicants must be pursuing their education beyond the secondary level and must be in demonstrated need of financial assistance to attain their educational goals.
Administered through the Equity Foundation until late in 2016, the Fund is now administered through Pride Foundation. With the administrative change, scholarship applications now become available in October and are due the following January for the upcoming academic year. Students complete one application and are eligible to receive multiple scholarships. The Pride of the Rose Scholarship Committee reviews applications and make scholarship decisions, which are then administered through the Pride Foundation.
The ISCRE has awarded funds to the Pride of the Rose Scholarship Fund each year since 2006. Frank and Allison are Honored Members of the ISCRE.