ITHACA, N.Y. — In the wake of the Orlando shooting, people are trying to find ways they can help ease the pain of those directly impacted by the attack and stand in solidarity with the gay community.

In downtown Ithaca Monday night, about 15 people gathered in the Commons at the Bernie Milton Pavilion to hash out ideas about what Ithacans can do to make a difference.

“I think most of the people there were just sort of not wanting to give in to despair, which I think was sort of the attitude of everybody,” said Ithaca’s Fifth Ward Alderperson Deb Mohlenhoff.

A lot of the ideas were rooted in creating a locally rooted way to help people.

“I know sometimes in the wake of an emergency the first thing everybody thinks of is, ‘We need to raise money,’” Mohlenhoff. But that was not the case last night.

The group came up with the the following seven ways Ithacans can help either the Orlando shooting victims or show solidarity by standing with the gay community.

1)Attend the vigil happening Tuesday night

Seriously. It starts tonight at 7 p.m. and lasts until 11 p.m. More information at this link:

2)Support Z95.5 in the Ithaca Commons Wednesday

Radio personalities Gabe and Nikki will be in the Commons around mid-afternoon Wednesday handing out rainbow colored flowers. The two of them host the morning show at Z94.5.

They originally planned to collect letters of support for people still in hospitals but were informed that many of the people admitted have been released.

Check out their social media (linked above) to find out when they’ll be out there and snap a photo to show support for the LGBTQA community!

3)Go to Moonies Bar & Nightclub on Friday night

According to the Moonies Bar & Nightclub social media, a benefit is happening Friday night at the club, located in the Commons at 114 E. St. St. A donation will be made to the Pulse Victims Fund for Equality Florida, the state’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil rights organization.

Mohlenhoff verified that the club has committed to making a donation.

4)Be part of Ithaca’s rainbow colored community photo on June 30

Be part of the rainbow! Primarily wear one color associated with the rainbow flag that has been adopted by the LGBTQA community. Then show up at the commons before the Casey Max & The Dixie Kats show that starts at 6 p.m. in the Commons June 30. Attendees will be divided into sections based the color they’re representing. 

“The idea is to line the Commons in sort of a rainbow color order,” Mohlenhoff said.

Don’t have a shirt that will work? Colored ‘Ithaca is Love’ shirts will be sold at the event.

At the same event, there will be a mini-resource fair for people with information about how to cope after a tragedy and where to go in the community for LGBTQA assistance.

5)’Like’ Brainstorming Session – How to send Ithaca Love to Orlando on Facebook

A new Facebook page is being created to keep people connected with many of the resources that will be making an appearance and more. The page has not been created yet, so the best way to stay up to date about what is happening on this front is by following the page linked above.

Mohlenhoff said the page will be updated with information regarding the newer page and updates about other events as they come up.

6)Take up the mantle and plan

Mohlenhoff said one of the major concerns by people attending the vigil is that there is no official big event in Ithaca during pride month in June — no parade, no series of fun events. She said people at the meeting hoped that the rainbow photo and gathering, as well as the mini- resource fair, will serve as a springboard for people to take up the mantle and maybe plan a yearly event for Pride month.

“A lot of people think there should be some sort of more formal pride event in Ithaca and there isn’t one,” Mohlenhoff said.

Did we miss an event? Let us know at

Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.