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Space Needle: Raise $50k for four local charities and the Pride flag will fly

In a change of heart with a twist, the Space Needle’s operators now say they will fly the rainbow flag this Pride — if the community can rally to raise $50,000 for four local non-profits. The details via Facebook:

The Space Needle has issued an exciting new fundraising challenge regarding the Rainbow Flag. If the community can raise $50,000 for 4 local charities, the Space Needle will raise the Rainbow Flag on Sunday of Gay Pride weekend.

Four charities have been selected to be the recipients of the fundraising challenge: Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA) Scholarship Program, Lambda Legal, It Gets Better for the Trevor Project and Mary’s Place, a homeless shelter for women and children. The $50,000 will be divided equally between the four organizations and the Space Needle will make an inaugural donation of $5,000.

Earlier Monday, CHS reported on one Capitol Hill business’s offer to give away Pride flags to anybody who wanted to fly the colors. Last week, we reported on difficulties encountered trying to arrange for the rainbow flag to fly from the Broadway station construction crane.

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26 thoughts on “Space Needle: Raise $50k for four local charities and the Pride flag will fly

  1. I’m not totally sure how i feel about this. Making the community buy the right to fly the flag is a little insulting, but it’s all for great charities AND it gets them to raise the flag…hmm, I guess I’ll go with it.

  2. As long as Space Needke Corporation is consistent and uses this for ALL private flags, I think this is a great idea.

  3. OK, will someone make sure that the sports-related flag flying that goes on annually at the Space Needle also is required to pony up money?? Or the Christmas tree that annually appears there?

    Are they all going to be hostage to a minimum fundraising goal? That would only be fair.

    Still I’m glad they recognized the strong negative reaction to the silly rationale given for not flying the flag this year (we never fly the same flag year after year) Huhh? Get real and get consistent and fair.

  4. PS

    it is as if they don’t expect people to be able to generate that money, and I have to doubt it a bit, so they get off looking squeaky clean and righteous even, while still the flag probably won’t fly. Fifty thousand dollars in what, a week or two? That is next to impossible. Thanks Space Needle.

  5. So do we have to raise $50,000 or $55,000?

    … I wish I would have had the idea for that payment processing website…

    from their FAQ’s:

    “How much does FundRazr cost?
    Recipients pay a fee of 4.9% + $0.30 USD* on every payment. The fee includes all PayPal transaction fees.”

  6. They’re forcing us to raise money for (some) gay causes, but Jeff Wright, chairman of the Space Needle corporation, and his cronies will still be giving money to the State Republican party and to anti-gay candidates. I don’t want a goddamn thing to do with them.

  7. go activist on them and hang our own flags all over the needle … they’re small enough and easy to get up there …

  8. I dislike stupid games like this. The Space Needle owners should just fly the firggin’ rainbow flag instead of holding it hostage–unless they’d prefer losing all of their gay-friendly patrons for, oh, I don’t know, July through September?

  9. So the Space Needle found themselves in a a PR nightmare and decided to turn it into a “challenge” that will leave them looking good by demanding money from the community in order to fly the Pride flag??? The charities are all deserving (and I suggest you give directly to them) but the Needle would have come off looking a whole lot better if they just flew the flag and suggested donations be made to local charities rather than demanding a ransom be paid to see the symbol of the gay community fly for a day over Seattle.

  10. In the past, the UW and WSU alumni associations have a contest at raising money. Whoever raises the most money each day, get the flag raised the following day. Then the winner of the game gets it raised an extra day. I believe they raise 100k-200k each year for charity. Would be nice to have the Space Needle folks come out and say what the policy is exactly.

  11. At the end of the day, I think seeing the pride flag up on the Needle means more to more people (and also poking the eye to those who didn’t want it flown for religious reasons) than my butt-hurt feelings that they’re “holding our flag hostage”. They’re worthy charities, anyway, so I’ve donated.

    Here’s an idea: donate the amount of money you’d be saving by not going up to the observation deck in protest: $18 for adults (though rounding it up to $20 is probably best).

  12. As a native Seattleite who worked a couple years atop the Needle in my youth, I regret to say that I have stopped sending friends and relatives to visit there.

    Please consider making a statement about exactly what your flag-flying policy will be, for ALL the flags you fly.

    Why different for gays? Right now my impression is that you have made a last-minute challenge, of an unlikely-to-be-reached amount, as a way of covering yourselves. If you intend never to fly it, just say so. This seems not much better than not flying it, even though the charities are worthwhile.

    Until you have a clear policy for all flag-flying, you won’t have my loyalty back. Even if the goal is reached and the flag flies.

    Thank you for flying it last year, by the way, that was great. And I hope you will fly it this year even if the required ransom is not met.


  13. No. Too crowded, too claustrophobic, and it destroys Volunteer Park. The celebrations downtown have been much bigger than squeezed into Volunteer Pk.

  14. How wussy would they have looked if they capitulated to all the whining? I agree, they should’ve just said “OK” to begin with, but if I were them–after the mistake was made– I wouldn’t have caved in either. The G/L community would look like babies anyway.

    And, how come nobody’s screaming at the construction company that wouldn’t fly the flag atop the crane building the CapHill light rail station? Their company has pretty much the same policy.

  15. I have faith in the community to raise it! We have the funds by just not taking the $16 we would to go UP the NEEDLE and the $40 for a couple of cocktails up there on June 26 or any other day! We ding them the cost and aid our own in the process. Thats a a real boycott and a sock in the pocket to them. Lets see the Green Folks all its gonna take is $16 minium for 3125 people and we even Beat the at the GAME!

  16. A construction company is different from the owners of a Seattle icon.

    If the Statue of LIberty were to be sold to private owners, they could conceivably put a halter top on her, but the citizens would cry out against it.

    Owning a landmark comes with certain responsibilities, for example skyscrapers have to offer public access to some form of observation deck, in Seattle.

    If they flew a Nazi flag off the Space Needle do you suppose there’d be no outcry?

    I could care less about some company and their crane that moves from site to site.

  17. This screams of self-entitlement and gives the appearance of nothing more than a shortsighted tantrum. I’d be willing to bet this is is the same “Will” that started the ‘boycott’ on facebook, (if that is the case) I find it interesting the way you chose to advertise your event without claiming ownership.

    It’s unfortunate that members the queer community are jumping to this reactionary mode of “activism,” rather than stepping up to the challenge presented by the Space Needle and throwing down a couple of bucks. While the boycott page is growing in momentum, as you say, you still have just over 1% of the numbers that Josh Castle was able to pull together with his petition. Speaking of said petition — if each person who signed it donated just $5, that would be the $45,000 that we need to raise in addition to the $5,000 the space needle already put up.

    There are so many inequalities in this world that deserve our attention and advocacy efforts (gay marriage comes to mind), but this is not one of them. The Space Needle is owned and operated by a private entity and, just like the Boy Scouts, they have the right to run it any way they please. It was great to see the flag up there last year, but demanding that they put it up again is just selfish. They said no and, after being pressured by the petition and members of city council, changed their minds and came up with a compromise. It’s too bad we can’t have some rational thought and a measured discussion about why that was a fair response. Beyond all of that, if you spent this energy encouraging others to donate to these four fantastic organizations, you could blow that $50K goal out of the water and really prove a point about how strong we can be when we work together.

    I know that writing this comment isn’t going to change your mind — just feel like you should know that you’re embarrassing your community.

  18. I was sad when the Space Needle Corporation decided not to fly the Pride flag. It is such a great symbol of community and of, well, pride for everyone. While I was sad and a little confused, I was okay with it. I didn’t need the Space Needle.

    But now, this seems a little iffy. Smart on them for trying to turn a bad story into a better story but it does seem a little like a ransom. So I will give to charities of my choice as I do and I still do not need the Space Needle to show me what I know – that this community is amazing and strong and we can show our own pride without it being broadcasted on the Space Needle.

  19. I got over my little rant and tried to see it from their perspective.

    Having flown it once doesn’t obligate them to fly it forever more, that would be stupid and wrong.

    I don’t care if they fly it or not, it is the clumsy recovery, the “ransom” money thing that sticks in my craw.

    Hopefully the money is raised and everybody wins. And if we raise $45,000 or whatever, I hope the Needle does the right thing.

  20. I actually posted that same sentiment on the Space Needle facebook page, and it was promptly deleted(within about 2 minutes). So much for asking people to see things from a different perspective.

    I’ll donate my time to LifeLong, and march in the Pride Parade with my friends…but I think the LGBT has other more pressing issues to tackle than whether the flag flies atop the Space Needle.

    Sunday will come and go. I hope those emblazoned activists and “easily parted with their money” supporters continue with philantropic endeavors throughout the year and their lives.