A Gay Leader, Richard Cimoch, Passes

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Richard Cimoch (photo: Pompano Bill)

Richard Cimoch, a long time Broward County Democratic activist, who hailed from Philadelphia, and championed his Nittany Lions, has suddenly passed away.

A politically active Dolphin Democrat, who won their Volunteer of the Year Award in 2001, Cimoch had served for many years as the enthusiastic and energetic co-chair of Pride South Florida.

Cimoch recently revitalized his interest in politics with a run for Democratic committeeman in Precinct 004, the North Andrews district of Broward, a race he lost to Tim Ross.

A professional event and party planner since 1980, his decorative creations were etched out beautifully and aesthetically in hundreds of LGBT venues over the past two decades.

Under the banner of Blaise Productions- Blaise was Cimoch’s middle name- he decorated everything from Center One’s Red Ribbon Awards to Pride South Florida’s one time move to the Broward Convention Center. As a PSF co-chair, he moved the pride parades from off-road locales to Las Olas Boulevard, the epicenter of Fort Lauderdale.

Ron Mills, another Dolphin Democrat leader, said of Cimoch:

"Richard put the PRIDE in PRIDE, from Pride South Florida to the Stars of the Rainbow."

While SFGN Publisher Norm Kent remarked on his passing, “In his own way, Richard Cimoch moved the needle and advanced LGBT awareness, pushing and creating partnerships between gay and straight venues, and showcasing LGBT businesses and persons in a positive light.” Indeed, if you go back and read the old Express Gay News from 2001 to 2005, you will see thatCimoch’s name comes up in no less than 39 articles, usually associated with his participation in Pride South Florida events.

"Richard has been an important activist within the gay community, and his loss will be greatly felt," commented Dean Trantalis.

Recently returning to politics, Cimoch was interviewed by Dale Madison in the Florida Agenda in August, stating that he wanted to work enthusiastically for President Obama’s re-election:  “Florida is crucial to Obama’s victory, and as gay men and women, we have a lot to lose if he doesn’t win.”

A volunteer to many local charitable causes, a viewing has been set up for Richard Blaise Cimoch, at the Kraeer Funeral Home between 7 and 9 pm at 1 North State Road 7 in Margate. He would have been 60 years old on February 3.

SFGN invites friends to post their memories below.

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