First Aeronaut Allston Party Will Benefit Orlando LGBT Organization

In the wake of the mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub, Blackbird Doughnuts and South End Buttery are also putting money where their thoughts are.

The city of Boston woke up the day after its annual Pride Parade to news that a gunman had shot and killed 50 revelers at an Orlando nightclub, and injured many more.

The motive for the rampage has not been confirmed, but the fact that it was committed during Pride Month at gay club Pulse has the LGBT community feeling particularly affected by the largest mass shooting in United States history.

With rainbow flags, frosted cupcakes, soft pretzels, petite macarons, funfetti cake, and even falafel and heirloom tomatoes, the Boston culinary community showed its unwavering support as LGBT friends and allies over the weekend. Now, in the wake of the Sunday morning tragedy, a few are taking it a step further and using their public Pride platforms to fundraise for those affected in Orlando.

Aeronaut Brewing Company feels a strong kinship for Central Florida, as it’s where the team purchased its original brewhouse. To respond to the tragedy, CEO Ben Holmes wrote in a newsletter Sunday night, the company is donating all proceeds from beer sales during the first Aeronaut Allston party this Wednesday, June 15, to the Center, an Orlando organization for LGBT people.

“Our hearts go out to the entire LGBTQ community of which some of us are members and all of us are admirers & friends,” Ben Holmes wrote in an Aeronaut email newsletter last night.

“AERONAUT is a company of optimists, and the future we share is hopeful and bright,” he continued on Instagram. “We encourage every one of you to find out how to aid the healing on your own. For our own small part, AERONAUT will… contribute [money] directly to relief and healing of affected families. We will also be auctioning off an original piece by our artist, Raul Gonzalez III with all proceeds being donated to the same.”

Holmes also added a link to the Center donations page on its Aeronaut Allston event invitation.

The ever-Instagrammable Blackbird Doughnuts produced a rainbow tie-dyed round in celebration of Pride this weekend, and in response the shooting, all of the money from sales of the Friday-Sunday special will be directed to a worthy LGBT cause. The donation will be at least $2,000, says owner Rebecca Roth Gullo.

“I felt strongly that the 100% of money people spent on each doughnut ($3) should be directly donated to make a more significant impact,” she says. “It really was just so wholly shocking I had to do something.”

The response to the pledge, made on Instagram yesterday afternoon, has been “humbling and inspiring,” Roth Gullo says. “I’ve yet to determine exactly which charity will receive the donation, but Fenway Health is the front runner for a local organization. We’re still looking for the Orlando non-profit, but many people sent recommendations.”

South End Buttery created rainbow-frosted cupcakes for Pride Week, but owner Richard Gordon has decided to continue making them this week and donate proceeds to Fenway Health and a to-be-determined Orlando-area organization.

“We are horrified by what happened this past weekend and hope we can make even a small impact toward helping people try to cope with this tragedy and, hopefully, avoid its recurrence,” Gordon says.

Know of any other Boston-area restaurants and bars raising money in response to the Pulse nightclub tragedy? Let us know in the comments.

UPDATE, noon: This post has been updated with South End Buttery’s fundraiser.