On July 15, it will be one year since the northwest Minnesota chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) received its charter.

The organization will mark that anniversary with a family picnic will be held from July 11, 2015, from 12 to 3pm in Centennial Park, Thief River Falls.

“We have provided visibility and support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in northwest Minnesota and neighboring North Dakota for a year,” chapter president, David Stocum of Thief River Falls, said in a statement. “This is something we are all tremendously proud of and look forward to continuing.”

FLAG Thief Rivers Falls “gives LGBT people in Northwest Minnesota an opportunity to come together socially. PFLAG provides opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity, and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity.” The group meets the second Saturday of each month at the Thief River Care Center. Chapter meetings consist of a program during the first hour and a peer led support circle during the second hour. Anyone interested in obtaining more information on PFLAG Thief River Falls can reach the group via email at , on the web at, or on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information about the first anniversary picnic, visit Facebook.

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Andy Birkey

Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.