Tampa night club hosts Orlando benefit

Hundreds raise funds for victims' families
Posted at 10:48 PM, Jun 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-18 23:20:23-04

City Side Lounge in South Tampa was a packed house Saturday night, as the business hosted a huge fundraiser to show support for victims of the Orlando Pulse Night Club shooting. 

Beyond efforts to raise money, those attending and performing wanted to send a message that they won't live in fear.

"This was a massacre.  Everybody's affected by this.  Not just me.  Not just my sisters.  This is our whole community that is affected by this," said Anita Waistline, Miss Pulse 2015.

That's why the community is coming together to support each other and remember the lives lost.  City Side's benefit and drag show contributed every tip to performers, proceeds from every drink sale, and every raffle ticket to support families of the Orlando victims.

"It's really give you more of a sense of pride, I believe, instead of the hate causing everyone to be scared, it's allowed everyone to come together and unite," said Troy Wambles, who attended the benefit.

But security is still on the minds of many, though.  That's why the Tampa Police Dept. has been providing extra security at clubs like City Side since the shooting.

"I think it's showing a lot of people they don't have to be scared any more," Wambles said.

Now those in the LGBT community are determined to keep memories of the victims alive, while celebrating the lives they're still living.

"We're not going back with guns.  We're going back with vigils, with love, and with peace," Waistline said.

All proceeds collected Saturday night will go to Equality Florida's victim support fund.