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    Sweet Support for SF LGBT Center Thanks to Visionaries Mark Rhoades and fnnch

    In June 2020, amidst the pandemic and sheltering in place, LGBT community leader Mark Rhoades was seeking a creative, safe way for LGBTQIA+ leaders and supporters to celebrate Pride. With the onset of COVID-19, the San Francisco Pride Parade was canceled for the first time in 50 years. All social and philanthropic events came to a sudden halt, including Rhoades’ very own 13th Annual Pride Kick-Off Party.

    There were rapid closures of businesses, the economy was plummeting, people were losing their jobs and sanity, and were forced to turn to Zoom and social media in order to “stay home, save lives.” Dressing up, going out, and physically supporting local causes became a “social distance” thing of the past.

    As an established PR strategist, Rhoades spent dedicated hours trying to decipher what he could do to positively change the macabre mood that was filling the air. As a huge fan of artist fnnch, specifically his rainbow honey bear, Rhoades knew this would be just the happy collaboration San Francisco needed.

    Rhoades contacted fnnch, suggesting he paint rainbow honey bears all over the Castro. Fnnch loved the idea, and added that he would like to honor Pride by painting one specific wall, with one dynamic focus: the SF LGBT Center.

    Rhoades took the lead and reached out to Rebecca Rolfe and Roberto Ordeñana of the Center, seeking their approval for a Pride “rainbow honey bear” mural on their wall. He proposed that this project would be a huge local and tourist attraction, where people would be clamoring to take their photo in front of the mural. Rolfe and Ordeñana gladly accepted, making the Center the hub of the Pride mural.

    Fnnch donated his time, resources, and daily upkeep as a gift to the Center. He dedicated the mural to his beloved late, gay uncle. Once the mural had been completed, Rhoades began inviting LGBT leaders and socialites, near and far, to support the Center by taking their photo in front of the mural. He encouraged each guest to post their fun photos/videos on their Instagram and Facebook pages, tagging the Center and artist fnnch.

    The Pride mural project has exploded all over social media, receiving over 55,000 views/likes! This has given the Center increased national and local visibility. 

    Rhoades is moved by the many people who took time to support the Center and fnnch in this way. They include Mayor London Breed; famed ballerina Yuanyuan Tan, who danced in front of the mural; the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, who sang a song about the honey bears; CHEER SF, who did a cheer about the honey bears; and so many more. It is awe inspiring! Also, fnnch raised $10,000 for the Center.

    Beyond the imagination of Rhoades, the Center, and fnnch, the honey bear rainbow mural continues to bring joy to San Francisco and its onlookers daily. It is the smile we never knew we needed. The images will be exhibited next year for Pride inside the Center.

    Rhoades wishes to give special thanks to the media outlets that have covered the mural. They include Kenny Choi for a CBS News Pride segment in June, the Nob Hill Gazette, Haute Living magazine, KQED, and now the San Francisco Bay Times. We hope that you enjoy this selection of just some of the images taken so far.

    For More Information

    Mark Rhoades PR


    SF LGBT Center

    Published on October 22, 2020