Pride St. Louis honored the organization's 2017 community service award winners at its annual Pride Kick Off Party, June 3, at KDHX in Grand Center. In addition to the award, the honorees will be riding in this year's Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals Grand Pride Parade. St. Louis' 38th annual LGBTQIA+ PrideFest will be held June 23-25 downtown at Soldier's Memorial.

The Buddy Brigade

The Community Proud Award is presented to the individual, group, business, or organization that has gone above and beyond, giving an extraordinary amount of energy making a positive difference in the lives of those in marginalized communities.

The Buddy Brigade is a community youth movement started by Xander Davison, age 5, (with the support of his parents) and his preschool buddies to show that kids can make a positive difference in the world around them. The Buddy Brigade teaches children to embrace themselves and the diversity of the world around them through advocacy, action and kindness. The Buddy Brigade embraces the motto “Buddies to All,” through service projects that support organizations through donations, fundraising and other acts of kindness.

The three rules of The Buddy Brigade are, Be Kind. Be Brave. Be you. To quote Xander, “Don’t be scared to be yourself because you’re you and no one is better at being you. If you’re different from someone else it doesn’t mean you should cry...because you’re beautiful. I mean, why would you be mean to a rainbow? They’re beautiful and magical.”

The Buddy Brigade is very proud to support Pride St Louis and all of their friends at the PrideCenter. Learn more about The Buddy Brigade and their mission of kindness at

The Show-Me Bears


The Jim Hoefer Award is presented to an organization that best exemplifies what it means to serve St. Louis’ LGBT Community.

The Show-Me Bears of St. Louis is a social and charitable fundraising organization whose aim is to promote interest in bears. Founded in 1993, and based at JJ’s Clubhouse, the Show-Me Bears raise money and do extensive volunteer work in the community for local and regional LGBTQIA+ related charities through a variety of annual and special events.

Every August, the Bears host "Mr. Heartland Bear,” a pageant-style competition with the goal of increasing interest in the bear community and supporting the contestants’ individual platforms and causes in the greater LGBTQ community. Proceeds from the event benefit Camp Hope, a weekend long camp for HIV+ and HIV-affected kids and families in Potosi, Mo.

“HiBearNation” has been the Show-Me Bears’ signature fundraising event for 23-years running. This four-day event in early November attracts men from all over the USA and beyond for a weekend of fun, drinking, dancing and brotherhood all in the name of raising money for sponsored charities, which, in the past, have included Doorways, STL EFA, Food Outreach, Growing American Youth and Bethany Place, to name a few.

Steph Perkins

The Felton T. Day Community Service Award is presented to a person – not associated with Pride St. Louis – whose service to the LGBTQIA+ community has gone above and beyond, exemplifying the spirit of leadership and service in one’s community.

Steph Perkins joined PROMO, Missouri’s statewide LGBT advocacy organization, as the Southwest Field Organizer in 2008 and, after serving in several other roles with the organization in Springfield, is now the Executive Director. Raised by a large Jewish family of activists and advocates in Kansas, Steph moved to Springfield, MO and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Sociology and Religious Studies from Missouri State University, where he was active in student organizations and with the administration on campus. Steph also serves on the Board of Directors for Freedom for All Americans, a bipartisan organization working to secure inclusive nondiscrimination protections in all 50 states. He now lives in St. Louis with his wife, Amanda, and their pugsomething, Fiona.

Celebrating 30 years of equality, PROMO is Missouri's statewide organization advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality through legislative action, electoral politics, grassroots organizing, and community education.

Steven Louis Brawley

The Lisa Wagaman Lifetime Community Service Award is presented to an individual who has spent much of their life to further the pride movement and LGBT causes.

For the past three decades, Steven Louis Brawley has been an active member of St. Louis’ LGBTQIA+ community.

In 2007, he founded the St. Louis LGBT History Project, partnering with local archives, colleges/universities, community elders, historians, and researchers to preserve and promote St. Louis’ vibrant LGBTQ past. The Project conducts historical tours, displays rare artifacts at regional events, and provides speakers for educational forums.

In 2016, he authored the first book to chronicle St. Louis’ LGBTQ history. “Gay and Lesbian St. Louis” (Arcadia Publishing) highlights the pioneers, places, and events that have created a lasting legacy for future generations of LGBTQ youth to build upon.

Steve has a 25-year career in not-for-profit management at BJC Healthcare and Area Resources for Community and Human Services (ARCHS).

Over the years, Steve has volunteered with the AIDS Walk, Saint Louis Effort for AIDS, and the Show Me Bears. A native of St. Louis, Steve is a graduate of the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Saint Louis University.



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