The Coalition of Rainbow Alliances (CORAL) is an umbrella association that promotes a sense of kinship within the organizations and individuals in central Illinois that provide services or actively support the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities, their families and friends.
Created as a “grass-roots” organization in 2000, anyone who affirms their support of the GLBT community can join CORAL. CORAL has no membership dues and shows its support through planned events though-out the year. Its fund raising efforts go to sponsor events that foster GLBT community. Events include special interest programs, the annual Pride Picnic on the third Saturday in June, and the annual GLBT Thanksgiving, on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
The Coalition of Rainbow Alliance’s Twilight Parade entries of float and the Rainbow Flag Corps, both took top prizes in their respective categories at the Illinois State Fair Twilight Parade, held Thursday night. Parade theme,” Family Fun for Everyone,” provided the inspiration for C.O.R.A.L.’s eighth award winning float entry,”A Fantasy of Family Fun.” The float was awarded the Grand Marshal’s Award for first place in the non-commercial float division. This was the fourth time that the C.O.R.A.L. float has received the Grand Marshal’s Award. They join four Governor’s Sweepstakes Awards in the group’s trophy collection, along with trophies for the Romance of Illinois, and a Superintendent’s Award, for Craftsmanship.
The Rainbow Flag Corps provided C.O.R.A.L. the Grand Marshal’s Award for first place in the Specialty Units division. This was the Corp’s third year of sweeping the top prize in their division. Flag Corps Mistresses, Teri Hostert, and Teresa Garret-Brown were ecstatic with the group’s performance. “For two blocks, from the Main Gate, to the Midway, we snapped to and provided the judges and the crowd our top Performance ever,” Garret-Brown enthused. “I can’t thank the community enough for sponsoring the new flag poles and flexible attachments for the flags.”
“While the Corps was smaller than we wanted, these people practiced in the heat and the rain to learn the routine,” Hostert stated. “Their dedication to the precision, made them appear much larger. It was wonderful. For three hours we were the face of the LGBTQ community!
C.O.R.A.L.’s Parade Events Coordinator, Bert Morton surprised the Corps and the float crew with special live coverage of the C.O.R.A.L. entries by Newschannel 20 ABC, as the local TV channel opened their 6:00 P.M. News with pictures of the group and the float, along with an interview, as Morton explained C.O.R.A.L.’s dedication to the greater community, the Fair and its parade. Thanks to all who helped to make this year’s visibility project, another fabulous success!