Norm Kent, the Trustee of the Robert Kecskemety Trust and SFGN Publisher, along with Robert Boo, the CEO of The Pride Center at Equality Park, have reached an agreement to donate the $20,000 balance of his trust endowment to The Pride Center.
The mutual consensus permits the non-profit agency to illuminate its work on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community.
“By authorizing this disbursement at this time to The Center's Florida AIDS walk team,” Kent said, “it enables The Pride Center to receive a matching donation from the AIDS Health Care Foundation, doubling the contribution to $40,000.”
“It’s a creative use of the balance of the trust,” says Kent, “and just one more example of how much AHF does for the LGBTQ community in generously underwriting our non-profits. The AIDS Walk is a great cause, and we are all beneficiaries.”
Kecskemety’s endowment was intended to publish the VOICE for five years, but because of the international pandemic due to COVID, and editorial disagreements between SFGN and The Pride Center, only 16 of 20 issues were published, so a balance remains in the trust.
As the trustee, Kent reached an agreement with Boo permitting The Center to use the remainder of these funds in Kecskemety's donation going forward not limited just to print, but also using visual, social and electronic media to tell the story of The Pride Center, and the work they do for the community.
“If everyone in our community knew the life-transforming work that happens on our Equality Park campus every day, we would never have to worry about fundraising,” said Boo. “Bob’s enduring generosity will help The Pride Center tell the real story of lives changed and communities empowered. We couldn’t be more grateful.”
Before his death, Bob Kecskemety was a perennial figure in the gay community, not only working with The Pride Center to create and publish The VOICE newsletter, but photographically recording LGBTQ events in and around town, particularly filming the World AIDS Day ceremonies annually.
Kecskemety had hired attorney Robin Bodiford to set up the trust just before his passing, directing SFGN to publish the VOICE, and naming Kent as the trustee. Bodiford, a respected probate attorney and long-time gay rights advocate, consented to the disbursement as well.
Kent presented Roger Roa, the Director of Development for The Pride Center with the donation from SFGN last week, on his next to last day of work at the organization.
“Nobody has worked harder than Roger Roa at his job,” said Kent. “It’s great to be able to deliver this as a parting gift for him and the Florida AIDS Walk. Everyone benefits.”
Both Boo and Kent mutually expressed gratitude and appreciation to City Commissioner Chris Caputo and Tim Hart, the owner of R3 Accounting, who helped broker the arrangement to disburse the balance of the trust.
"Bob Kecskemety would be proud today," said Kent.
“Our LGBTQ communities live in challenging times and some nationwide and here in Florida want to erase us,” said Boo. “Yet the strength and resilience of our community mean we have good stories to tell. We won’t be erased. Bob’s generosity will help tell the good stories of The Pride Center and the impact of our clients, volunteers, donors, staff, groups and community collaborators.”