5th Annual Saginaw Valley LGBT & Allies Pride Awards Banquet

Celebration of the 44th anniversary of Stonewall
June 25, 2013
Andersen Enrichment Center


6 – 7 p.m. Reception – Lucille Andersen Rose Garden
7 – 8 p.m. Dinner catered by The Savoy Grill in the Hall of Fame Room
8 – 9 p.m. Pride Emcee – Charis Urbano
Welcome – Leo Romo and Chris Lauckner, Perceptions Vice-Chair
Guest Speaker – Emily Deivendorf Managing Director at Equality Michigan “Life on Mars: Pushing away from the past and into the new world”
Pride Awards – Charis Urbano,
Chris Lauckner, Leo Romo

2013 Pride Award Recipients

 Business Pride Award – Pasong’s Café

The Pasong’s Café that serves fine Asian cuisine receives the Business Pride Award for its long-time full support of the LGBT community within the Great Lakes Bay Region. “Pasong” and her daughters, Nonnie Blondin and Tina Saycosie, are known by many in the LGBT community. Openly lesbian Tina is the current owner of Pasong’s Café. The restaurant has donated its services for Holiday Parties, Chocolate Par-ties and other fundraisers for years. The family and employees were involved with the AIDS Walk and other community projects, especially in Saginaw’s Old Town.






 Pride Award – Kay Sural

Kay Sural who consistently supported efforts to foster a positive image for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender community and their allies, was known by her kind smile and dedication in the LGBT and the general community. Kay was able connect with everybody and became an excellent ambassador for goodwill. She naturally said “Hi” or “I’m Kay. Who are you?” to friends or strangers at a meeting, an event or at the Savoy Grill. She was able to accept others as they are. Kay served on the Perceptions Saginaw Valley board for six years including as Vice Chair.





 Political Pride Award – Annie Boensch

Annie Boensch, member the Saginaw City Council, has been a leader and supporter of equal rights, not only for the gay community, but for all Saginaw City and County residents. She was the first Saginaw County political leader to sign her name a statement from Unity Michigan LEAD (Local Elect-eds Against Discrimination): Elected officials from across the State of Michigan who proudly support of non-discrimination protections for gay and transgender residents; and has encouraged other city council members and county elected officials to add their names to LEAD. Annie, as a political leader and a mother, has been a model Ally for the LGBT community. One person can be a difference. Annie is an example.





 Pride Award – Alberto (Beto) Jimenez

Alberto Jimenez, an openly gay Latino, has become an equality activist – something that he did not plan. To fight against LGBT discrimination, especially within the Latino community, he created an “Equality” float for Saginaw’s 34th Annual Cinco de Mayo
Parade on May 4th – the first LGBT-themed float in the Cinco de Mayo Parade and probably the first in Saginaw. Perceptions and PFLAG sponsored his Equality float that took 2nd Place! Alberto is no stranger with the community. He has volunteered for Tri-City Pride Festival for three years, was involved with La Union Civica Mexicana, Saginaw oldest Mexican American organization, and the Mexican American Council where he serves as a board member. Alberto is starting a business called Party Loco to use his creative skills. Thank you and good luck, Alberto.




 Pride Award – Rick Farrand

Rick Farrand has been active in the Tri-Cities GLBT community for almost 25 years. He was a founding member of Dignity Tri-Cities and helped with fundraising, candlelight vigils, making AIDS Quilt panels for members of the Tri-Cities who died of AIDS, marches in Detroit, Lansing, etc. in the 1980-90’s. He helped bring a portion of the AIDS Quilt to Bay City in early 1990’s. Rick was involved with the Buddy Program, when people visited, offered encouragement, rides, and a shoulder to cry on for those Tri-Cities residents living with AIDS. He served the LGBT community by volunteering and organizing numerous functions – dances, fundraisers, banquets, the Perceptions Adoption Highway Cleanup and the like. Rick’s mom, aunt and family became friends with the LGBT community and Rick never hesitated to help.




 Lifetime Achievement Pride Award -Dr. Dale Merkle

Dr. Dale Merkle, former president of the local chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG Tri-Cities) who as a member of the Bay City Board Educa-tion (1998-2002) was instrumental in establishing a non-discrimination policy that included sex-orientation in Bay City Schools. Dale has written more than thirty articles that addressed equal civil and human rights for lesbians and gays, and became PFLAG’s Gulf Regional Director after he moved to Atlanta, GA. Dale and his wife, Mary Lynn, has been an advocates for equality all of their lives. We will always remember your advocacy for the LGBT community. Thank you.




Special Thank You

Bob Gilman
Alberto Jimenez
Tim Atkinson
The Savoy Grill
Randy Hasso
Charissa Urbano
Leo Romo
Lee Berkobien
Mike Mercer’s PC
2013 Pride Banquet Sponsors and YOU!


Pride Award Selection Committee

Rebecca Dunn – Kathy Lloyd – Tim Atkinson
Richard Shook – Leo Romo

About Perceptions Saginaw Valley

Perceptions is a non-profit community organization that offers educational, social and networking opportunists for Tri-Cities (Midland, Bay City and Saginaw) and surrounding areas. Perceptions strives to foster a positive image for the gay, bisexual and transgender community and our allies.

Perceptions 2012 Board of Trustees

Daphne Barkley – Chair
Chris Lauckner – Vice-Chair
Dann Federico – Secretary
Greg Waltney – Treasurer
Ben Dowd
Kathy Lloyd
Tim Atkinson


Barb Klimaszewski
Leo Romo
Tom Brubaker
Amy McDonald
Perceptions website and Newsletter Editor: Kristopher Waugh