Orange County

Parents of Pulse shooting victim matching donations for counseling services cut from state budget

ORLANDO, Fla. — The parents of a Pulse shooting victim are working to help fund mental health services for those still dealing with the effects of the tragedy after Gov. Ron DeSantis axed money to keep those services going from the state budget.

DeSantis cut $150,000 in funding for the LGBT+ Center Orlando, which would have gone toward mental health and counseling services for Pulse shooting survivors and families.

READ: Exhibit marking 5 years since Pulse shooting open at Orange County Regional History Center

To make up for the gap in funding, Maria and Fred Wright, the parents of a Pulse shooting victim Jerry Wright, are offering to match $25,000 in funds to the Center in an effort to raise $50,000 during LGBTQ Pride Month.

“While the governor sends the message that we do not matter, that our loss and sacrifice is unimportant, we know otherwise and we are doing what we think is right,” Fred said.

READ: Photographer shares dozens of new images taken at Pulse, aftermath

Their campaign runs through the end of the month.

The Wright’s pledge comes just after Quantum Improvements Consulting donated $25,000 to the center and $25,000 to the Zebra Coalition, which was also part of the governor’s line-item vetos.

Photos: See inside the new exhibit commemorating 5 years since Pulse nightclub shooting

Click here for more information on how to donate.

Shannon Butler

Shannon Butler,

Shannon joined the Eyewitness News team in 2013.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson,

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.