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Pet Blessing honors four-legged family

Rabbi Joshua Lesser

Atlanta's LGBT-founded synagogue Congregation Bet Haverim hosts two events during Atlanta's “Stonewall Month” celebrations. The first, a pet blessing and picnic at Mason Mill Park, will be held June 23.

The pet blessing will be a unique event, said Bet Haverim Rabbi Rabbi Joshua Lesser, who is gay.

LGBT people, especially those without children, often form a unique bond with their pets, Lesser added.

In addition to more typical house pets, Lesser said any and all animals are welcome to the event.

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Evening for Equality honors leaders

Georgia Equality’s annual Evening for Equality Awards cap off Atlanta’s Stonewall Month. Scheduled this year for June 29 at Twelve Hotel in Atlantic Station, the event will honor members of the local community with three distinct awards.

The Philip Rush Community Builder Award goes to the Lloyd Russell Foundation, whose executive director is Pamm Burdett. “The foundation provides needed resources to struggling community organizations,” said Jeff Graham, Georgia Equality’s executive director.

“Without their support, there would not be a Phillip Rush Center,” Graham said. “In addition, they have provided a safe base and acknowledgement for people who can be marginalized, such as the transgender and leather community.”