Rev Dr. Candace R. Shultis
Rev. Dr. Candace R. Shultis grew up in Kingston, NY and Pittsfield, MA. She earned her baccalaureate degree from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), B.B.A., in 1973, her master’s and her doctorate at Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC, M.Div., 1980 and D. Min., 2004. She first attended the Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, DC in 1979. Candace served as the Associate Pastor of MCC Washington from 1983 until 1995 when she was elected Pastor. She was called and elected to be the Pastor at King of Peace MCC, St. Petersburg, FL in December, 2007.
Since arriving in St. Petersburg Candace has served on the Board of ASAP, has been an ambassador for Dining Out for Life, and has participated in prayer services for World AIDS Day. She has taught the class “Bible and Homosexuality” at the Metro Wellness and Community Center and brought prayers at the annual St. Petersburg service for the homeless who have died on our streets. She has helped initiate a local commemoration of Transgender Day of Remembrance held each year at King of Peace MCC. Candace, along with the entire clergy staff of KOP MCC, was present at the Pinellas County Court House on January 6 of this year to celebrate marriages and has conducted numerous weddings for gay and lesbian couples. King of Peace MCC and Candace have both received WAVE awards for favorite religious institution and clergy leader.
For these past seven years, she has led King of Peace MCC in becoming a more inclusive community. Through her efforts the church has grown in the number of women, People of Color and Trans-folk as well as overall growth.
Candace has served in a number of Metropolitan Community Church denominational capacities including as a member and chair of the Clergy Credentials and Concerns Committee and as a member of the Governing Board. She presently serves as the Chair of the Commission on the Statement of Faith and has been nominated to be an Elder in MCC. She has preached in churches and at events from New Haven, CT to Sydney, Australia.
She and her partner of 22 years, Barbara, enjoy the company of their two dachshunds: Wendy and Mister Redd (Really Extraordinary Dachshund Dog).
Ed Lally has been a well-known LGBTQ activist in the Tampa Bay Area for the past 37 years. His activism in the community began in the mid-80’s when many of his friends were lost to the AIDS epidemic. Ed was one of the first board members of the Bay Area AIDS Consortium and later the Tampa Bay Aids Network (TAN) and headed up TAN’s annual giving programs and was instrumental in starting fund-raisers such as TAN’s annual White Party and Life Dance. Ed has served as vice president of The Tampa Bay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival and has chaired their major annual fundraiser, The Launch Party, for the past 15 years. After a long-term career in banking Ed retired from Wachovia Bank to devote more time to LGBTQ causes. Ed began as a fundraising volunteer for Equality Florida in 1997 and became their Central Florida & Corporate Development Manager in 2009. He retired from Equality Florida in 2016 but has stayed on as a consultant for fundraising and advocacy work. Once recognized in Watermark Magazine as “The Constant Fundraiser,” Ed has raised over $2,000,000 for various LGBTQ organizations over the years. He has also been active in political fundraising campaigns for candidates that support LGBTQ rights and was a leading fundraiser in the Tampa Bay Area for the Hillary Clinton campaign. He is currently serving on the fundraising teams for St Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, Councilwoman Darden Rice and City Council candidate, Barclay Harless. Ed volunteers weekly at freeFall Theatre and was a big brother in Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Tampa Bay for several years and has served as a volunteer for Meals on Wheels.
Ed’s life’s mission has been to seek inclusion and full equality for the LGBTQ community and to make the Tampa Bay Area a better place for us to live and raise our families. A Louisville native, Ed attended University of Kentucky and University of Louisville and relocated to Tampa in 1979. He and his husband, Philip Dinkins will celebrate 40 years of love and companionship this year and were married in Toronto, Canada in 2003.
Kori has worked, professionally, as a Female Impersonator for 22 years, and has accomplished many goals in her career. She is also an avid Costume Designer, whose pieces have appeared in numerous Fashion Shows, local and national drag pageants, and even on national television.
She moved to the Tampa Bay area 9 years ago, and was immediately drawn into this community. She quickly jumped in and became committed to being a face, a voice and an advocate for all things that involve or represent the people of our LGBTQ community. She participated in fundraisers that would benefit organizations like ASAP, St Pete Pride, FORGE (now known as TransAction FL) and the Metro Wellness and Community Center.
Kori was crowned Miss St Pete Pride 2010, and took community service to a whole new level. If there was an LGBTQ fundraiser anywhere in town, she was there to assist and/or donate to the cause. After crowning her successor, she became a Board Member of TransAction FL and St Pete Pride – where she helped to plan some of the wonderful programs that are now in place. She has served as the Entertainment Director for St Pete Pride for the past 5 years. She has been responsible for most of the entertainment for all fundraisers that are held by the organization, including the annual Red and Green Party, Taste of Pride, and the Stonewall Reception. She also plans and coordinates the talent that performs during the Pride Celebration each summer.
Kori has been a part of planning major fundraisers for St Pete Pride, ASAP, Metro Wellness and Community Center, March of Dimes, American Diabetes Association, American Cancer Society, All-Children’s Hospital, Petpals, and so much more.
The Marine Corp Toys for Tots Program has been her pride and joy for 7 years running now. She has organized and hosted this fundraiser at several different venues over the years, and has collected over $20,000.00 worth of toys and raised over $10,000.00 in donations.
Dedication to bringing the community together is what drives her to put on some of the events like the Toys for Tots Benefit, the St Pete Pride Pageants, her infamous Birthday Show, the Pre-Thanksgiving Bash, the End of Summer Dance Party and the upcoming St Pete Pride Review Show.
“It took 37 years to find a place that just felt right. And when I found it, I wanted to be a part of every bit of it, and for every bit of it to be a part of me”.
Michael Smith was born in 1981 in Pinellas County and has been a resident of Largo for nearly 11 years. In 2008, Michael came out wanting to be himself and make a difference in his community. In late 2010, he met his partner Eric and both are happily engaged together. He was elected to the Largo City Commission in November 2011 with 54% of the vote, unseating long-time incumbent Mary Gray Black, who was the leading advocate that lead to the removal of City Manager Steve Stanton. Stanton was fired shortly after revealing plans to undergo gender reassignment surgery and become Susan Stanton. In 2014, Michael was re-elected with 65% of the vote. He has more than a decade of experience in local politics and has worked in the Pinellas Public Library system for the past 11 years. He has been a member and supporter of the: Human Rights Campaign, Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber of Commerce, It Gets Better Project, Pinellas Stonewall Democrats, Equality Florida and has marched in almost every Saint Pete Pride. This year, Michael will receive the Voice for Equality Award at the Equality Florida's St. Pete Gala.
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Uniting all LGBTQ+ Supporters in Tampa Bay through positive activities and events. We promote volunteerism & activism for a fulfilling LGBTQ+ lifestyle.