Community helps raise money for victims’ families in Orlando shooting

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A community came together Friday to help raise money for the families of the 49 people killed in the Orlando nightclub massacre.

More than 100 people gathered at Therapy Cafe Friday to honor the 49 families who lost loved ones in the deadly shooting at Orlando’s pulse nightclub. Organizers are hoping tonight offers people comfort during this time of grief.

“The fundraiser was originally for us,” GLSEN of Greater Dayton Co-Chairman Kevin Mabrey said. “As soon as we found out what happened in Orlando we decided the tonight is going to be all about them.”

Kevin Mabrey with The Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network or GLSEN of Greater Dayton says at times of tragedy a sense of community means everything.

“It’s an awesome feeling,” Mabrey said. “I spoke at the vigil on Courthouse Square last night and I was overwhelmed with happiness at the same time overwhelmed with a little fear. There’s still fear out there.”

And Devin Dame experienced some of that fear first hand after learning close friends had died in the shooting.

“We knew a dancer and a male entertainer that was killed,” Dame said. “So it hits especially close to us.”

To help those victims, GLSEN is collecting $5 dollars at the door and holding 50/50 raffles throughout the night. Therapy Cafe is also donating a portion of their sales. All money collected Friday will go towards the #WeAreOrlando fund to help victims and their families.

“We want to make sure that everyone gets the support they need,” Gage Gatlyn said. “If they have any questions for us we’re here for that as well.”

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