1. The Delta Foundation Has Not Dissolved
On August 23, 2020, the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh announced that the Foundation would be dissolving “due to the COVID-19 pandemic” and the “cancellation of Pittsburgh Pride 2020”. However, a Right to Know Law request by QBurgh to the Pennsylvania Department of State Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations responded to on October 27, 2021 reveals that despite their statement from over a year prior, the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh has filed no documents with the Bureau to officially begin their dissolution.
A search of the Pennsylvania Department of State’s business document filing system reveals that the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh’s status is “active”.
2. The Delta Foundation Has New Leaders
On August 10, 2020, the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh announced that their Board of Directors had elected new officers to replace their former, long-time leader.
These new officers are:
President: Marty Healey
Vice President: William Jonathan Holmes
Secretary: Eddie McAndrews
Treasurer: Chuck Honse
You may know Marty Healey as the former volunteer President of the board of Persad Center who recently became their paid controversial Chief Executive Officer.
3. No Refunds have been issued for cancelled Pittsburgh Pride 2020
On September 2, 2020 the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh sent the following email to all Pittsburgh Pride 2020 registrants:
As of the time of publication, no other communications have been sent to Pittsburgh Pride 2020 registrants regarding the status of their refunds and no refunds have been issued. There is no way for registrants to contact the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh because their listed phone number has been disconnected, emails go unanswered, and they deleted their Facebook page.
There were 125 small businesses, organizations, non-profits, and individuals who registered and paid anywhere between $100.00 and $4,000.00 each to participate in Pittsburgh Pride 2020.
4. The Delta Foundation wants to own “Pittsburgh Pride” for unknown reasons
On September 2, 2020, the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh filed an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to trademark the terms “Pittsburgh Pride”, “Pittsburgh PrideFest”, and “Pride Rocks Pittsburgh”. This application was filed over a week after announcing their dissolution and the same day as informing Pittsburgh Pride 2020 registrants that the organization was closing.
The trademark application was specifically for “education and entertainment services, namely, organizing community festivals featuring a variety of activities in the nature of parades, street fairs, rallies, and marches”.
Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh President Marty Healey told the Pittsburgh City Paper on November 17, 2021, that the Delta Foundation does not plan on using the trademark if their application is successful, and that Pittsburgh Pride “can be used by anyone”. It remains unclear why the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh and Marty Healey refuse to withdraw the application if they do not intend to enforce ownership.
A Facebook fundraiser has been started to raise money to challenge the trademark application.
5. The Delta Foundation sold their building for $632,531.00 in June 2021
Records indicate that on June 16, 2021, the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh sold their building at 911 Galveston Avenue on the North Side for $632,531.00. It remains unclear as to where the proceeds of the sale have gone.
Why does this matter?
While many in the LGBTQ Community of Pittsburgh believed the contentious organization was gone, it seems that there remains more controversy than clarity with regard to the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh, their intentions with Pittsburgh Pride going forward, and whether or not the community will ever receive their money back.
What can you do?
You can contribute to the Facebook fundraiser to challenge the trademark application for “Pittsburgh Pride” here.
As a Pennsylvania non-profit, the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh is governed by the Pennsylvania Department of State Bureau of Charitable Organizations. If you paid any money to the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh for Pittsburgh Pride 2020 or are owed any money, you can register your complaint with the state here. You can also file a complaint against them for not acting in good faith.