Thank you, Kevan Gardner!

Kevan Gardner
Kevan Gardner

After 11 years as Pride Foundation’s Regional Director, Kevan Gardner is leaving Pride Foundation. Please help us thank Kevan for building community all over the Northwest. 

For so many people, Kevan Gardner was the first person they met at Pride Foundation. In his job as Regional Director Kevan roamed the Northwest, and many years he literally drove as many miles as it would take to circle the earth.  People he visited always noted how much his frequent visits to their community meant to them, as this signified Pride Foundation’s commitment to working outside of urban centers.   Kevan took our Regional Outreach program and led it through incredible change transforming it from a pilot program, an essential core of how Pride Foundation operates and thrives.

In his 11+ years Kevan met with hundreds, if not thousands of people, from small organizations just starting out in need of advice, to seasoned volunteers who were leading their communities’ efforts for equality. He always worked passionately and tirelessly to raise the visibility and leadership of our LGBT communities.  He has inspired us with his encouragement, creative flair and his sense of humor.

A familiar sight- Kevan tabling at a pride celebration
A familiar sight- Kevan tabling at a pride celebration

Please join us in thanking him for his work and leadership by leaving a comment below. Share about a time you met with Kevan, or the ways that he inspired you. Or just simply say ‘thanks’ for his incredible work.   To get us started we have some thoughts from some volunteers who worked with him.

Kevan — Kevan —Kevan!  We are going to miss you so much!  You have brought so much enthusiasm and encouragement to our community, and shown us that a small group of positive individuals can make a difference!  You inspired us to reach out and feel confident when advocating for the GLBT community and our loved ones!  You sang, you danced, you shared so many wonderful stories and events with us!  You are such a caring and positive person and you have touched so many. You’ve been a friend as well as a mentor to us all!  Thank you, Kevan!  We wish you wonderful opportunities down the road, and hope you will stay in touch with us!

You truly live up to the saying, ‘The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.’ “
Best wishes and hugs,  Sherry and Hank Pangborn, Kitsap County

Kevan with regional leaders
Kevan with regional leaders

When I met Kevan he was a ray of sunshine who came to Montana with plans to help us help ourselves create a stronger LGBTQ community. He understood that we were used to organizations coming in for a time and then leaving.  He understood the dynamics of our state and could relate to the experiences we were having.  He brought the face and the love of Pride Foundation to Montana.  He embodied the generosity of spirit of a true philanthropist.  And he didn’t leave.

For me, he did the same.  He brought love, understanding, support, and inspiration.  He brought me the role models I always craved through knowing the amazing people at the Pride Foundation.  He brought me friends who are now family.  He challenged me to do more, to be more as a person.  He believed in me and asked me to reach higher for myself in a way that made me sure I could do it.  His inner light and passion for the fabulous spark creativity, joy and compassion.  We love you Kevan!

Shelley Hayes, Billings, MT

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