With 24 hours to spare, the fundraising leg of the #RememberAndre campaign successfully surged past the $5,000 mark. This project has been established to create a permanent memorial to the life of Andre Gray, a young bisexual man of color who was murdered at the young age of 34 in his Lawrenceville apartment. At the request of Andre’s mother, the memorial will also include his young dog, Boss, who was also killed that terrible night.
The memorial will take the form of a bench with a plaque in the Bernard Dog Run in Lawrenceville. The dog run is along the Allegheny River Trail which is visited by thousands of people every month. Now, they’ll have a place to take a rest and read the plaque.
The City of Pittsburgh coordinates all of this so we are waiting for the Department of Public Works to complete their part of the site preparation and order the bench for us. Lawrenceville United and the Bloomfield Garfield Corporation are handling the logistics and the donated funds. Andre’s family is compiling the wording for the plaque. It is now a matter of finalizing the plans.
The project had nearly 60 donors, including a $2000 donations from the Scott Noxin Fund at The Pittsburgh Foundation. Andre’s family took up a collection. Folks from Lawrenceville chipped in as well. Altogether, it was a collection of friends, family and empathetic strangers who came together to pay tribute to our neighbor, Andre.
The fund was set up to have a sustainability component so we can make any necessary repairs or perhaps purchase a second bench in the future. That will include dog leashes in the bisexual flag colors embossed with the phrase ‘Walk Like a Boss’ that we will offer for a donation. These funds will also allow us to plant flowers near the bench on a regular basis.
Crowdfunding is exhausting and exhilarating. I am so very grateful for all of the folks who contributed to this effort. We will post more details about the dedication of the memorial when they are firm. We’ll let you know about the leashes when they are printed – probably in mid-September.
Yes, you can still donate if you like – all funds go to the Bloomfield Garfield Corporation per the wishes of Andre’s mother. Anything above the project costs will be used for upkeep. Please continue to keep Andre’s family, friends and neighbors in your thoughts and prayers.