Listen to this article
  • WHAT: Humboldt Diversity & Inclusion Pride Celebration
  • WHERE: The VFW Hall in Dakota City, Ia., pop. 843, town seat of Humboldt County, pop, 4,753, and a county that voted 73 percent in favor of Donald Trump in the 2020 Presidential Election
  • WHO: About 200 residents, mostly allies plus a handful of LGBTQ people. Coordinated by Mark Henderson, John Grause, and Humboldt County Pride and LGBTQ Awareness.
  • WHEN: June 25, 2021
humboldt 1
Among the key organizers and speakers at the June 25 Humboldt Diversity & Inclusion Pride event (l to r): Humboldt High School teacher Emmett Warr; Bruce Wolfe, husband of Humboldt native and co-organizer Mark Henderson; John Grause, Humboldt native and co-organizer; Henderson; and Kent Mick, stage manager.
humbold pics 1 1
Humboldt resident Imani Shufford and cousin Haley Thanupakorn, owner of HT Tattoos in Humboldt.
humboldt pic 9 1
A mom and child enjoy the celebration.
humboldt pic 7
A volunteer with Free Mom Hugs helps raise money for the Humboldt Gay Straight Alliance.
humboldt pics 2
Event organizer Mark Henderson introduces Haley Box and Megan Abens, who performed selections from “Rent” at the event.
humboldt 3
Speakers included teacher Toni Hood, left, and Matthew Shephard Scholarship winner Molly Richardson, both who were instrumental in starting the first-ever Gay-Straight Alliance in the schools in Humboldt/Webster counties and in the town of Norwalk, respectively.
humboldt 8
A packed crowd filled the VFW Hall in Dakota City, where Humboldt’s second annual Pride event took place because of rain that drove the group out of Bicknell Park.
humboldt 7 1
Co-organizer John Grause talks about supporting the Humboldt Gay Straight Alliance with proceeds from the event. The final tally for the evening was over $1,300.
humboldt 4
Singer Hailey Box helps distribute gifts during a raffle.
humboldt 2
Emcee Mark Henderson smiles with a young audience member who asked for his autograph.
humboldt 10
The evening featured a tall red ribbon in the corner of the room, where event attendees could write the names of friends and family they may have lost to AIDS..
humboldt 11
Kent Mick of Grinnell donated sound equipment and his time as stage manager and sang an original composition along with his daughter, Olivia.
humboldt pics 6
An audience member revels in her rainbow-colored leg adornments.
humboldt pics 3
Audience members record Mark Henderson, a former Humboldt resident who now lives in Miami, during the event, which was relocated because of rain to the VFW Hall in Dakota City, from Bicknell Park in Humboldt.
humboldt pic 10jpg 2
Sam Frock applies face paint to her child at the Humboldt celebration.
tim and chris
Note from Editor Christine Hawes: I was honored to both cover this event, and serve as a guest panelist. I am pictured above with Phil Monson, reporter with the local daily paper, the Humboldt Independent. (photo by Phil Monson)