WILMINGTON — Community members gathered for three days of fun, networking, fundraising and involvement at the Frank Harr Foundation Family Fest, May 15-17. The group also awarded the state’s only out member of the General Assembly and screened the trailer of an upcoming documentary produced and filmed in town.

The foundation honored State Sen. Julia Boseman (D-New Hanover) with their inaugural “Frankly Speaking” Community Award. Boseman is North Carolina’s only openly gay or lesbian state legislator. She has worked diligently to bring LGBT issues to the General Assembly and was the chief sponsor of the School Violence Prevention Act, which passed the Senate 26-22 on May 7. The award is given annually to a member of the community who acts in the spirit of Frank Harr.

“The Frank Harr Foundation has been established to keep the undying spirit of Frank Harr alive,” the organization said in a release. “Our primary purpose is to educate the public on matters concerning the LGBT community in order to impart a sense of unity, equality and acceptance.”

After the ceremony honoring Boseman, the group screened the trailer for “Parkview,” a forthcoming film documenting the February 1990 murder of 32-year-old lesbian Talana Kreeger.

Other events of the Frank Harr Family Fest weekend included the Port City Pride Stride, an annual 5k walk/run to benefit OutWilmington Community Center and St. Jude’s Metropolitan Community Church’s Tent Revival and brunch.

The organization was founded and named in memory of longtime Wilmington advocate Frank Harr, who passed away last May. Harr was dedicated to building community, educating others about human rights and promoting equality. He served as a board member of CARE, a non-profit organization serving and supporting families infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. Harr also co-founded and co-chaired an annual AIDS benefit. In the fall of 2008, Harr was posthumously awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the New Hanover Democratic Party for his role in founding the Wilmington chapter of Stonewall Democrats.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.