Two Ardent Volunteers Named Community Grand Marshals of the Palm Springs Pride Parade
Indispensable volunteer duo Matthew Stocker and Tom Oliver have been named the Community Grand Marshals and join the previously announced Grand Marshals the Youth of Coachella Valley.
Grand Marshal- the Youth of Coachella Valley -Inspired by and in support of youth-led movement-building efforts that are awakening critical conversations for social change, the Youth of Coachella Valley are collectively recognized as Grand Marshals of the 2018 Pride Parade. Two youth, from east and west valley, Gina Villalobos and A’res Rey Flores have been designated Grand Marshal representatives and will lead the youth contingent in the Pride parade. Gina is a graduate of Palm Springs High School and A’res graduated from Desert Mirage High School in Thermal. Both are attending College of the Desert.
“It’s inspiring to see the number of teens and tweens who are standing up and saying “enough!” to intolerance, discrimination, and gun violence. After all, Pride is, and always has been, a show of resistance. Resistance to discrimination, resistance to hatred. Resistance to fear, to violence. As we honor those who have courageously fought for equality and are no longer with us, we welcome the support and strength of the next generations,” said Ron deHarte, President of Greater Palm Springs Pride.
Community Grand Marshals are Matthew Stocker and Tom Oliver – Matthew and Tom have volunteered together since they met in 2008 and they have become the indispensable duo for many organizations and events. With hearts of service and in humble fashion, Matthew and Tom have made a positive impact in the community. They actively volunteer, raise funds, and donate to Desert AIDS Project, The LGBT Center of the Desert, Sanctuary Palm Springs, The L-Fund, AIDS Assistance Program, Palm Springs Preservation Foundation, Greater Palm Springs Pride, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Human Rights Campaign, Emerald Kingdom, ONE-PS, Halloween Palm Springs on Arenas Road, and Modernism Week.
While volunteering in San Francisco, Matthew founded the durable medical equipment and supplies reuse/recycling program in which volunteers pick up no-longer-needed equipment and supplies and deliver them to patients with no insurance or other resources.
Tom is driven by service to others and has dedicated his life to helping AIDS-related organizations and people living with HIV. He currently serves as chairman of the Warm Sands Neighborhood Organization and participates in the monthly cleanup of the Tahquitz Creek Wash.
Awards will be presented to the Grand Marshals at OUT PSP: A Kick Off to Pride, on October 11, 2018, and at the Pre-Parade Breakfast, at the Regional Medical Center’s El Mirador Tower Building the morning of the parade. Tickets for the breakfast are available at www.bit.ly/PreParty17.
All marshals will ride in the Pride Parade on November 4. The parade steps off at 10am at Palm Canyon Dr. and Tachevah and proceeds downtown on Palm Canyon Dr. to the main entrance of the Pride Festival at Museum Way. Tickets and event details for OUT PSP are available at www.bit.ly/outpsp.