Last weekend, students and faculty volunteered at the Pride Franklin County Festival at Wilson College. Founded by the Franklin County Coalition for Progress, the event focuses on bringing awareness and empowerment to the LGBTQ+ members of Franklin County and celebrating Pride yearlong.
Along with raising awareness and celebrating, the Mercersburg Academy also volunteered, which had its benefits. “Our volunteering mainly consisted of directing traffic and telling people where to park, but it led to us meeting many people. It was endearing to see so many people of all ages deciding to come out and participate in the event,” said volunteer Corbin Kelly ’24.
Director of Community Engagement Emily Parsons said, “The best was how willing our students were to do the work. Some helped at a face painting booth, but most of us were parking attendants for several hours. I appreciate the way our students just jumped in and did what was needed. In Community Engagement, our jobs are rarely glamorous but always important. I'm so happy that our students could see that.”
The volunteers also learned some things that aren’t well known within the community, especially specific to Franklin County. Kelly said he learned that “Sheetz supports gay people officially.”
Elliot Cole ’24 echoed Kelly. “I learned that there was a lot of support for those in the LGBTQ community all around me that I didn't realize before.”
Parsons said, “I also learned that Wilson College is doing a lot of great work on their campus regarding the LGBTIA+ community.”
The Franklin County Pride movement is pushing forward with no signs of stopping, planning numerous events in the near future.
Gigi Devlin ’24 said, “I would definitely go again, it was a fun and easy experience where I can help the community and make a difference.”
Kelly said, “The event was very entertaining and the showing of people really made me happy.”