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Thief Steals $6,000 at Festival, But Pacific Pride Foundation Focuses on Positives

Someone cut the tent of the ticket booth and snatched an envelope with the cash

Amid the music and rainbow flags, a thief took off with more than $6,000 in cash from the ticket booth at Saturday’s Pacific Pride Festival in Chase Palm Park.

The Pacific Pride Foundation provides social services to those with HIV/AIDS and to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities in Santa Barbara County. With more than 100 volunteers and six months of planning, the Pacific Pride Festival brought together more than 4,000 people.

Despite the security and full staffing of the ticket booth, the thief snatched the envelope containing all of the money taken in up to that point.

“Somebody was watching,” David Selberg, executive director of the Pacific Pride Foundation, said in an e-mail sent to Noozhawk. “They took a brief moment to cut the back of the tent with a knife and stole the main cash envelope.”

All proceeds from the festival would have helped fund PPF’s community programs and services.

Law enforcement officials have said recovery of the money was unlikely.

Selberg discussed the loss with board members and strategized procedural changes for next year. Although the money was stolen, he said the LGBT community’s pride in diversity was not.

“We are reminding ourselves at the end of the day — nobody was hurt, 4,000-plus people gathered and celebrated, and we did an excellent job in fostering the spirit of pride in Santa Barbara County,” Selberg said. “We refuse to have someone steal our joy and community celebration.”

Click here to help the Pacific Pride Foundation recover its loss.

Noozhawk intern Andrea Ellickson, a UCSB graduate, is a journalism student at SBCC. She can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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