The OnePulse Foundation announced a fundraising campaign to provide financial help to the families of the 49 victims killed and the 53 surviving victims of the June 12 mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando, Florida.
Police handed over the Pulse night club back to the owner, Barbara Poma, about two weeks ago. While she plans to reopen the night club, it is not slated to open up as a memorial as an accidental Instagram post stated.
"OOPS! Looks like we got the media’s pulse racing with an inadvertent Instagram posting that incorrectly stated the Pulse Nightclub was reopening as a memorial," Sara Brady, a public relations representative with Pulse, said in a statement. "As reported last week, the club remains closed for business, but Ms. Poma’s desire is that someday a memorial be created at the site."
"The OnePulseFoundation was established to raise funds for victims of the June 12 tragedy as well as for a memorial," the statement reads. "No monies have been collected at this time."
Antonio Rodriguez, an Orlando resident, agreed a memorial belongs nearby but thinks it shouldn’t be inside the actual building where the attack took place.
“Something else can be done at the site as a place for meditation and recognition of the victims and anyone affected," Rodriguez said.
“It saddens me that a place filled with so much pure joy and love will no longer exist, but I think it’s the right decision to honor those whose lives were lost,” Brittany Arroyo, who lives in the Central Florida area, told NBC Latino. This is a sentiment Orlando resident Kelly Casas also shares: “We can’t make it disappear and pretend it didn’t happen by building something else, plus it gives family, friends and locals somewhere to go pay their respects."
Memorials honoring the victims continue as the Logo Channel played an 18-minute, Human Rights Campaign-produced video twice on Sunday. In the video, celebrities read each victim’s name and share details about them. Sunday marked 49 days since the attack, a symbolic gesture given the 49 lives that were taken that night.
A sign with each victim’s name in rainbow colors remains a fixture at the entrance of the Stonewall Inn in New York City, which President Obama declared the nation’s first LGBT national monument in June. The victims were also honored during the Democratic National Convention last week.
You can donate by texting “Pulse” to 91999 or by visiting the OnePulse Foundation website.