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Ricky Martin partners with foundation to build Pulse memorial

Martin will the national spokesperson for a foundation seeking to build a memorial honoring the 49 mostly Latino victims of the 2016 nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida.
Image: Pulse nightclub
A makeshift memorial outside the Pulse nightclub, a month after the mass shooting in Orlando, Fla., on July 11, 2016.John Raoux / AP

Ricky Martin will be the national spokesperson for a foundation that is building a memorial and museum to honor the 49 victims who died at a shooting inside a gay Florida nightclub in Orlando.

The internationally renowned music star and humanitarian is partnering with nonprofit onePulse Foundation, created to honor the legacy of those killed after the 2016 shooting inside the Pulse nightclub. Martin and the foundation are launching a fundraising campaign to raise $49 million. Martin will make public service announcements promoting tolerance, foundation officials said.

Starting on Valentine’s Day, the two will kick off the OUTLOVE HATE campaign whose goal is to getting 1 million people to donate $49. The proceeds will go towards building a permanent National Pulse Memorial & Museum, educational programs, community outreach and 49 legacy scholarships, foundation officials said in a statement.

Ricky Martin presents the Album of The Year Award onstage during the 20th annual Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas on Nov. 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ricky Martin presents the Album of The Year Award onstage during the 20th annual Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas on Nov. 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.Kevin Winter / Getty Images for LARAS

“We are thrilled to have one of the best-selling international music artists of all time join our Pulse family as a national spokesperson,” said Earl Crittenden, onePULSE Foundation board chair, in a statement. “His global platform allows us to share our mission with even more audiences, ensuring Pulse’s legacy of love lives on forever.”

Tragedy struck the lives of dozens of Latino families nearly five years ago as Pulse was celebrating the club’s Latin night. It was marked as one of the nation’s worst mass shootings.

After the shooting, local Latino organizations came together to provide bilingual services for the predominantly Puerto Rican and Latino community in the area, with vigils and memorials held in Spanish.

“It was a big effort but it was important for the Hispanic community to have a place where they could heal in their language, because they hadn’t had that yet," said Elda Rivera in 2017 of her work for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando.

Martin, who recently visited the Pulse Memorial to pay his respects, was enthusiastic about being involved in the campaign.

“I’m excited to assist onePULSE Foundation with engagement and awareness-building opportunities as they build the National Pulse Memorial & Museum,” the singer shared in the statement.

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