From David Massey, long time supporter of Knoxville PFLAG and organizer of Spectrum Cafe:
The two-story home of a lesbian couple in Vonore, TN, was completely destroyed by fire this past Saturday evening, and there is little doubt that it was arson. The word “Queers” was painted in large letters on the side of the garage. WATE covered the story.
Efforts are underway to support the couple, Carol Ann and Laura Stutte, and their adult daughter.
First, the newly formed Maryville chapter of PFLAG (Parents Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays) will be gathering needed clothing and household items.
Second, the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church is collecting financial donations. Please make your check payable to TVUUC and write “Vonore Family Fund” in the memo line. Send the check to Vonore Family Fund, c/o TVUUC, 2931 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919. This fund starts off with a $250 donation from the Knoxville Area chapter of PFLAG. Please include your email address so we can let you know how much money was raised.
Third, we want to be sure that the arson investigation is not swept under the rug, and there is reason to believe that it could be. If you know a Tennessee state representative or senator, please call that legislator and urge him or her to contact the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and express interest in the arson investigation at 2715 Highway 360, Vonore, TN 37885.
Fourth, join the campaign to write a letter to your local newspaper… or post messages on media websites … expressing your outrage at such hate crimes in the state.
Knoxville Pridefest and the East Tennessee Equality Council are ready to help as well. We are already setup to receive electronic donations. All net proceeds will be given to Carol Ann and Laura Stutte to help them rebuild their lives after this horrible crime. A $25 donation is suggested, but feel free to give more or less based on your own circumstances. We have to be their for each other when it counts. This is one of those times.
I have no feed back mechanism to display how much is being collected, so I will make manual updates every few hours to keep everyone up to date on the donation status.