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© 2021 Fort Wayne Pride. All rights reserved.
Pride has been celebrated for decades in Fort Wayne, but the celebration we know and love today began in 1998 at Freimann Square. From there venues changed from Foellinger Theater to Lawton Park to the West Side of Headwaters to our current home of the East Side festival plaza. Throughout the years our crowds have grown from 100 to over 15,000 during the two day event. One thing has remained the same and that is Pride's commitment to bringing safe, fun events to the LGBTQ community and our straight allies. None of this would be possible if it wasn't for our volunteer Board of Directors. FW Pride is a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to educating the community about LGBTQ issues and addressing needs that arise within our community. Pride also gives back to the community in various ways including supporting other nonprofits, providing assistance to low-income LGBTQ families, and awarding scholarships to LGBTQ people pursuing higher education. All donations are tax-deductible.  
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Meet the Board of Directors
Executive Director- Nikki Fultz- This is Nikki's 21st year on the board of directors. She enjoys putting together LGBTQ-positive events for our community. Nikki obtained her Masters in Nonprofit Management & Leadership to help further the growth of Pride. She has worked with several local nonprofits in the past, but Pride remains the one she is most passionate about. Nikki and her wife are both teachers and have three 26 year old daughters, Katelynn, Keela, & Indira as well as a 9 year old son, Tegan and a 3 year old daughter Riley. This year a grandson was added to the family with the birth of Keela's son, Sebastian in March. She enjoys teaching 3rd grade at Waynedale Elementary & was named the 2021 FWCS Teacher of the Year. Nikki enjoys traveling as well as spending time with family and friends! director@fwpride.org

Secretary-Volunteer Coordinator- Blaine Hall- Being new to the Fort Wayne area, Blaine was thrilled to find the Fort Wayne Pride organization. While not new to volunteering at pride events, he is new to Fort Wayne. He loves being part of an organization that provides a safe place where our community can come together to celebrate our diversity. "We are stronger together and our diversity makes us powerful. Love each other." This is Blaine's fourth year on the board.

Treasurer- Vendor Coordinator- Penny Aker- ​After volunteering for a couple years as a paramedic for Pride, Penny decided she wanted to become more involved in the LGBTQ community and help in any way she can, so she joined the board four years ago. She's been happily married to her husband Michael who is a lieutenant with the Fort Wayne Fire Department. They have two sons who are 25 and 21. She sincerely looks forward to helping the LGBTQ community. 

Beer Tent Coordinator- Kara Fultz- This is Kara's 16th festival to help organize. She and her wife have four daughters, Keela, Katelynn, Indira, and Riley and a son, Tegan.  She is a biology/ A & P teacher at South Side in Fort Wayne and the GSA supervising teacher as well as the International Baccalaureate coordinator. She is President and a player on the Fort Wayne Women's Rugby team. Kara is excited about the continued growth of the beer tent. 

Volunteer Coordinator- Jenn Ferguson- Jenn joined the board of directors eight years ago to become active in the LGBT community. She is an Occupational Therapist at a local hospital. She is working with Blaine & AiJaye as a volunteer coordinator. She and her partner, Michele, live in Fort Wayne with Michele's two daughters.


KidSpace Coordinator- Lori Larko-Wilch- This is Lori's eighth year on the board. Lori is involved in Free Mom Hugs Fort Wayne and Stonewall Democrats. She believes that over 50 years after Stonewall there are still many reasons to stand together in love. She and her wife Jay have four children.


KidSpace Coordinator- Jay Larko-Wilch- This is Jay's seventh year on the board after several years volunteering behind the scenes. She joined the board to help Pride grow in Fort Wayne. Jay is working with her wife Lori as a KidSpace coordinator. They live in New Haven and have four children together.


EMS/ Safety- Tracey Wilkinson - This is Tracey's third year as a committee member. Tracey has volunteered as a medic previously for Pride and wanted to become more involved within the community and the production of great events that promote diversity. Tracey has been a professional firefighter/EMT in Fort Wayne for nearly 24 years. She is a mother to a 3 year old daughter Elliott and 24 year old son Andrew. Tracey will continue to work as a medic and ensure that FW Pride events are staffed with people to provide great EMS care, with safety being a top priority.

Beer Tent Coordinator- Wendy Strayer- Wendy joined the FW Pride committee three years ago & looks forward to being more involved in the growth of the LGBTQ community. She works at Micropulse, Inc. as a Process Engineer. She and her wife, Bailey, have been together for 13 years and have 2 children, Jackson and Avery. She has been a drag performer (Teagan Kennedy) since 2004. 


Drag Show Coordinator- Jay Durnen- This is Jay's second year on the Board of Directors. As a high school teacher, they help students to share their personal voice and to see from other perspectives. For Fort Wayne Pride, they strive to promote education, HIV awareness, and better interpersonal communication.

Volunteer Coordinator- AiJaye Crowder- Albert Crowder, Jr, also known as AiJaye, was born in Birmingham, AL, but moved to Fort Wayne with his mother as an infant. He's made his mark on the city as a dancer for many events over the past years. He started at 10 years old at a local Boys & Girls club, but officially at 16. He grew up to love the art of expression and love the feeling of sharing that love with others. AiJaye joined the Fort Wayne Pride Board of Directors this year as a full time member. He wanted to learn more about what the Pride board does and help plan more events and share more ideas of what he thinks would be fun for everyone to do together. AiJaye hopes to see more change in a positive light in our community where everyone can come together and support each other no matter the label. "We are all strong individuals, but together we can take over the world!"

Vendor Coordinator- Nikki Ausland- After three years of volunteering with Fort Wayne Pride, Nikki decided she wanted to do more to help and joined the board in 2019. She has been married to her wife, Sarah, for 3 years. They have three fur babies, Diesel, Dexter, and Duke that take up all of their time. She works as a dispatcher at the Adams County Sheriff's Department.

Beer Tent Coordinator- Robert Anweiler- Robert has been involved with festivals throughout his life and enjoys the process of what makes them work and the effect they can have on a community. After 25 years involved with both Germanfest and Fort Wayne Sister Cities, he felt it was time for a new path to become more involved with the community and what he could do to make it better. Robert was the President/ Treasurer of Fort Wayne Sister Cities, the Treasurer/ Plaza Chair/ Board Member of Three Rivers Festival, and the Treasurer/ Marketing Chair/ Board Member of Germanfest. He is the owner of Anweiler Financial Management and has been a certified financial planner since 1994. Robert enjoys traveling and experiencing new cultures.

Spencer Ginter- Spear- Spencer joined Pride because he liked helping the community. His first Pride was seven years ago, and he understands that it is a lot of hard work. He began volunteering at Pride in 2019 and wanted to join to meet new people and help in any way he can. He's been married for four years to his husband, Tim, who is a Registered Nurse and drag queen. Spencer is a certified nursing assistant and in school to further his nursing career.