2016 Dallas Pride Grand Marshals
Dallas Pride is excited to announce our 2016 Grand Marshals.
From all the great nominations, you have chosen Burke Burnett and Todd Maria for this great honor.
They will be recognized during special Dallas Pride events and will participate in The Heineken Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade presented by T-Mobile on Sunday, Sept. 18.
After a series of violent attacks began in the Oaklawn area last fall, Burke co-founded a support group called SOS: Survivors Offering Support, alongside fellow survivor Michael Dominguez. SOS is a resource for those affected by violence and assist with medical expenses, lost wages, counseling referrals and legal assistance. SOS also facilitates monthly support group meetings at the Resource Center and partners with the Dallas Police Department and the Dallas County DA’s office to make our LGBT community more secure. He is also actively involved with “Take Back Oaklawn”, another local organization devoted to making the neighborhood a safer and cleaner place to work, live and play. Burke was instrumental in coordinating the Dallas Vigil following the tragedy in Orlando and led fundraising efforts at his church, Lovers Lane United Methodist. Burke balances his advocacy work while raising two young sons with his husband, Justin Carrier. The couple met and fell in love in the Oaklawn community and were married in the fall of 2014. Their sons Caleb and Cody were born in 2015.
Todd is the head coach of the Lost Souls Rugby Club. In just four short years, through recruitment of both talent and character, this small movement has grown into one having a big community impact. The Lost Souls have been voted Best LGBT Sports Team by Dallas Voice readers three years running. The team provides an environment of inclusion for players of all ages, backgrounds, and sexual orientation to the sport of rugby in North Texas. Todd led the team to the 2016 International Rugby Tournament, the Mark Bingham Cup, where they brought the Challenger Cup Championship trophy home to Dallas. Saturday may be a "rugby day” but Todd makes sure the teamwork extends into other days of the week as well. The Lost Souls
hold canned food drives which help stock the shelves at Dallas Resource Center's Food Pantry. Every year you can find the Lost Souls players and their loved ones serving Thanksgiving dinner at The Resource Center. The team’s annual Ugly Sweater Toy Drive ensures a brighter holiday season for at-risk children in the foster care system and living with devastating illnesses. In late summer, they organize a school supply drive for an entire classroom of low-income children. Originally from Hawaii, Todd is proud to make Dallas his permanent home where he is able to bring Aloha and a sense of Ohana to everything he does and everyone he meets.