PFLAG North Bay Chapter announced late last month that it would dissolve because it found itself unable to maintain a membership base of sufficient size to provide the financial sustainability the organizationâs board of directors feels is required. Since 1996 PFLAG North Bay Chapter has served parents, families, and friends of the LGBT Community by hosting support groups in Marin, Mendocino, Napa, and Sonoma counties. The group also came to the conclusion that they were unable to provide the optimal administrative and program services such a large geographic area demands. PFLAG North Bay Chapter shall dissolve effectively at the end on the month.
Mark Andersen and Paul Boisvert, who currently serve as the chapterâs co-presidents wrote in a letter to their members: ãWe are encouraging the creation of local chapters in each of the counties that were affiliated with PFLAG North Bay Chapter and will equally distribute any remaining PFLAG North Bay Chapter funds (approximately $4,000.00) to the chapters that have been officially recognized by PFLAG National at time of our dissolution.ä
Here in Sonoma County, current board member, Lin Campbell has already started a local chapter. PFLAG Sonoma County will meet the forth Monday of every month at Knox Pryspetarian Church, 1650 West third Street in Santa Rosa. Ms. Campbell selected Knox because it is welcoming of all, including those who Identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. This monthâs meeting will happen Monday, December 17 because the forth Monday is Christmas Eve. For more information email Lin at [email protected].
ãI joined PFLAG many years ago when my son came out to me because I was worried about what kind of life he would have as a gay man. PFLAG was such a huge help to me at a time when there was little information available,ä Ms. Campbell said: ãToday my son is legally married and has three children who he is raising in the San Francisco house he bought from his grandparents. Today, their may be more support is available to parents, but I think there is still a need for information. This is what led me to start PFLAG Sonoma County.ä
Three other affiliates are starting chapters in the remaining counties ounce served by PFLAG North Bay Chapter. In Marin County, Jane Hills can be reached at [email protected]. In Mendocino, Delynne Rogers, who served as PFLAG North Bay Chapterâs board president for six years, is forming a chapter. Reach her at johndelynne@sbcglobal,net. In Napa, the contact person is Jeannine Scott at [email protected].
The Rykken and Scull Charitable Trust that PFLAG North Bay has managed for several years will become the Rykken and Scull LGBT Memorial Fund at the Sonoma Community Foundation. This will be a ãCommunity Advised Fundä and at least four of the current PFLAG North Bay board members will become the advisory committee to oversee the future disbursement of funds. PFLAG North Bay Chapter has given away $135,000 in scholarships and grants since being bestowed the funds by the estate of a local gay judge, Walter Richard Rykken. The trust is also named for Judge Rykkenâs partner, Robert Scull.
PFLAG was founded 40 years ago by Jeanne Manford at a time when the LGBT Community had few allies and no legal protections. Ms. Manford and her activist son decided to form a group to provide support and information to others with LGBT children. PFLAGâs mission is to promote the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersexed persons, their families and friends through support, education and advocacy; to end discrimination and secure equal civil and human rights. The non-profit organization has over 200,000 members and supporters in more than 350 affiliations in the United States.