Photo by Monivette Cordeiro
On Tuesday, the onePULSE Foundation, the nonprofit behind the design, construction and operations of a permanent memorial dedicated to the June 2016 tragedy, was awarded up to $10 million to break ground on the project.
The funds were afforded through hotel-tax revenues by the Orange County Board of County Commissioners, according to a news release. The funding, which was unanimously approved by the BCC's members, will be used to acquire land and create designs for a proposed museum.
“Of all the things our community has experienced, nothing will ever compare to the shattering tragedy of June 12, 2016. Yet as dark and devastating as that day was, I remember how inspired I was by the strength, unity, compassion and love that poured forth from all parts of Central Florida, throughout the nation and around the globe,” says Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs in the release. “I am immensely proud of the Board’s historic decision to approve funding to help build the Pulse museum.
Jacobs adds: “This will be a sacred space that will tell the story of Pulse and our 49 angels, while ensuring future generations learn from the detrimental impact of hate, bigotry, discrimination and intolerance. We will never forget the 49 angels we lost or the impact this tragedy had on everyone in our region, especially our LGBTQ, Latinx and Hispanic communities. This museum sends a clear message that hate will not win and love will always prevail.”
In the release, Barbara Poma, onePULSE Foundation executive director, says she's grateful for the grant application's approval.
"There has been an amazing show of support for the creation of a museum and an expression of love and honor to those who were taken and those who will never forget that day," Poma says. "Our 49 angels will always be with us. We thank Orange County and its leaders for supporting us and having the utmost confidence in the onePULSE Foundation and its mission."
Per the release, the foundation is set to take the next step in the process, developing a design for the memorial and museum in the coming months.
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