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Pride Bermuda assists laid-off hotel workers

Strength in numbers: Pride organisers have donated $5,000 to help laid-off hospitality workers (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

The probable cancellation of the gay Pride march this year has given a financial boost to laid-off hotel staff.The organisers of the Pride event have decided to donate $5,000 to help support cash-strapped workers in the sector — and their move sparked a string of donations from other groups, which pushed the total to $22,600.A spokesman for Pride Bermuda said the group made the donation after they were forced to reconsider plans for Bermuda Pride weekend, scheduled for August 7 to 9.He said: “There was such an overwhelming level of support for last year’s event from the BHA [Bermuda Hotel Association] and Bermuda’s hospitality workers that we wanted to honour that support by doing something in return.“We are unlikely to have an event in 2020 like last year’s, so, with the blessing and support of our sponsors, we have been working with the BHA to provide financial support for hotel staff who may be struggling because of being laid off. “As we won’t have many of the overhead costs associated with a large gathering for Bermuda Pride in 2020 we can use some of our resources to hopefully make life a little easier for others.” The Bermuda Hotel Association chipped in $11,600, insurance and reinsurance firm Liberty Specialty Markets also made a substantial donation and individual donors contributed as well.The cash will be used to buy grocery vouchers, to be distributed to hotel workers this week.Tim Morrison, the president of the BHA, said: “We realise that this is an incredibly stressful and trying time for many of our colleagues, with the hotel industry being impacted like never before. “We were incredibly touched by the generosity shown by Bermuda Pride, and our member hotels through the BHA are happy to be able to provide this support to those hardest hit on our teams by this pandemic.”A BHA spokesman added: “Liberty Specialty Markets and a number of private individuals subsequently agreed to join the initiative, which will see $22,600 used to purchase grocery vouchers for those identified by BHA member hotels as being most in need.”