Rainbow Honor Walk Names New Board Members
Rainbow Honor Walk Names New Board Members
Group Expands In Preparation for Next 20 Honoress
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30 October 2015 –San Francisco, CA: One year after the installation of its first 20 honoree plaques in San Francisco’s Castro District, The Rainbow Honor Walk (www.rainbowhonorwalk.org), has named four new members to its all volunteer board: Madeline Hancock, Karen Helmuth, Donna Sachet and Barbara Tannenbaum.
“We are so honored by the commitment and wisdom of our new quartet of board members,” said David Perry, Rainbow Honor Walk co-founder and board chair. “They join an incredibly dedicated group of volunteers committed to preservation and education about our LGBT heritage. They truly are ‘walking the walk’ on behalf of the community.”
Envisioning the Rainbow Honor Walk, a volunteer committee of community leaders received the unanimous support of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 2010 to create the sidewalk monument. Comprised of 3 foot x 3 foot bronze plaques embedded in the sidewalk, the Rainbow Honor Walk salutes the groundbreaking achievements of noted LGBT individuals throughout history. Each phase of construction will honor twenty individuals. The walk will eventually extend from the Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy on 19th Street at Diamond down to Castro Street—the LGBT community’s “Main Street”—and will continue up Market Street with additional extensions on 18th Street. On Market Street, San Francisco’s main thoroughfare, the Walk will continue to the LGBT Center at Octavia Boulevard. All funds for the Walk’s design and manufacture – over $100,000 for the first 20 plaques — were raised privately. The criteria for selection of the next 20 honorees is the same as it was for the first 20: self-expressed LGBT individuals, now deceased, who made significant contributions in their fields.
“We’ve been so gratified by the response to the Walk after its first year in place,” said Perry. “Now, we begin the work of selecting the next 20 honorees and raising the money to produce and install the next plaques. Our hope is to have the next 20 honorees selected by late winter, and to have the new plaques installed sometime between Gay Pride and National Coming Out Day 2016.”
Below is information on the Rainbow Honor Walk’s newest board members:
Madeline Hancock, a native San Franciscan, grew up in the West Portal neighborhood. She graduated from Lowell High School and went on to pursue a degree in Political Science from UC Berkeley. Madeline received a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Lesley College Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, MA and later did course work in Educational Therapy at UC Santa Cruz Extension. Madeline has taught elementary school on both coasts as well as in Tokyo, Japan. For the past 15 years, Madeline has worked as a Learning Specialist at The Hamlin School in San Francisco.
Dr. Karen Helmuth is a clinical psychologist, and currently employed at Kaiser San Francisco. Karen is also a union steward with NUHW, as well. Raised in Southern California, Karen has been a San Francisco resident for over 10 years. She and her wife Terri, live in Bernal Heights and enjoy sailing their Catalina 34 in the bay. Karen is excited to participate in the Rainbow Honor Walk project, which brings historic LGBT visionaries, leaders, and icons to the forefront in the Castro neighborhood experience.
Donna Sachet started her adventure in San Francisco 25 years ago and the City has applauded her fun-loving spirit, quick wit, and musical talent ever since. She was selected Miss Gay SF in 1993 and reigned as the thirtieth elected Empress of SF in 1995-96. As a live singer and tireless fundraiser, Donna has received many awards, including the 1995 AIDS Emergency Fund’s Darrell Yee Award, 1996 Cable Car Entertainer of the Year, 1997 International Jose Honors Imperial Award, 1998 InterClub Fund’s Most Supportive Non-Leather Title-Holder, 2000 Alice B. Toklas Lesbian & Gay Democratic Club Community Service Award, 2002 designation as the Leather Empress by the Leather Community, 2004 Sainthood from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, 2005 Bob Cramer Humanitarian Award, 2007 Heritage of Pride Award from the LGBT Pride Committee, 2009 Academy of Friends Kile Ozier Founder’s Award, 2012 Positive Resource Center Community Pillar Award, 2013 Nitey’s Most Notable Drag Queen Award, 2014 Barbara Richmond & Peggy Ermet Memorial Community Hero Award, and 2014 Horizons Foundation Leadership Award. Accolades have come her way from 5 San Francisco mayors, the City Board of Supervisors, the State Legislature, and the esteemed Herb Caen. She co-chaired the SF GLAAD Media Awards for 4 years and has served on the Board of Directors of Positive Resource Center, Imperial Council, SF LGBT Community Center, State Board of Equality California, and the International Court Council. She is most proud of her annual Songs of the Season musical variety show benefiting the AIDS Emergency Fund for the past 23 years. Gary Virginia and Donna Sachet created the annual Pride Brunch, now in its 17th year, honoring the Grand Marshals of the Pride Parade and benefiting Positive Resource Center. She made history in 2009 when she sang the National Anthem for the SF Giants at AT∓T Park.
Barbara Tannenbaum is a freelance journalist and author based in San Rafael, California. She is a former magazine editor and has served as a board member with the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and the UC Berkeley-based California Studies Association. Barbara has studied writing with such gay and lesbian literary pioneers as poet and author Judy Grahn and NY-based editor Michael Denneny. As an editor at SF Focus, she was privileged to work with such LGBT chroniclers as Lillian Faderman, Kim Chernin, Fenton Johnson, and Armistead Maupin. Her own nonfiction writing has appeared in the New York Times, Salon.com, the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, and San Francisco Magazine. Her first piece of fiction was published in the Catamaran Literary Reader’s 2015 Spring issue, an excerpt from her recently completed novel, “The Uncrowned Queen of Magnetic Springs.” She is married to Leah Brooks. In her free time, when she is not out hiking or walking the dog, she is visiting museums or researching history in Bay Area libraries. A full list of board members, donors and honorees can by found online at www.rainbowhonorwalk.org.