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playtime-play-typhoon-lagoon-0Let’s Go Play, the producers of RipTide at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon during Gay Orlando Week, just announced that in celebration of the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, they are donating 250 free tickets to service men and women who served our country. This year’s event is on June 3, 2011 from 8 p.m. – 2 a.m.

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Let’s Go Play, the producers of RipTide at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon during Gay Orlando Week, just announced that in celebration of the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, they are donating 250 free tickets to service men and women who served our country. This year’s event is on June 3, 2011 from 8 p.m. – 2 a.m.

“In appreciation to all gay and lesbian military personnel, we want to pay tribute to our active, retired, and ‘unfairly discharged’ service men and women…we want them to enjoy a night of revelry along with 6,000 other men and women without having to worry about who is watching… maybe for the first time,” says Michael Christ with Let’s Go Play.

Let’s Go Play is working with OutServe.org, an underground network of LGBT men and women actively serving in the military. With 40 chapters and 2,700 members worldwide, OutServe will distribute the free tickets through their network to gay and lesbian active-duty members.

OutServe worked publicly for repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” as well as behind the scenes with the Pentagon and the Obama White House. Jonathan Hopkins, a 2001 West Point graduate and highly-decorated veteran of three combat tours, serves as OutServe spokesperson since he was discharged under DADT in August. “We still have a lot of work to do, but our troops deserve a celebration for all they have sacrificed – especially GLB troops who have borne the additional burden of hiding their lives,” said Hopkins. “We thank Let’s Go Play for recognizing their service.”

Hopkins’s story was highlighted by President Obama at the signing of the repeal bill.

What began as a small group of 75 internet friends from around the country who decided to meet the first weekend of June of 1991 in Orlando and wear red shirts so they would recognize each other now sees over 150,000 gay and lesbian visitors each year. Not just at the “largest theme park in the world” any longer, the entire week includes many events in multiple theme parks and venues throughout the Orlando area which cater to the gay and lesbian community for this one week.

“As a former member of the United States Air Force and an openly gay married man, of course I was elated to hear of the end of DADT this past year” said Terry DeCarlo. “I thank the Let’s Go Play staff for their generosity, and I look forward to spending a great night alongside some of the gay men and women who, like myself, gave up a portion of their life to defend everyone’s freedoms and our country”

Let’s Go Play 2011 works closely with Broward House, Miracle of Love, and Hope & Help because they love the tireless work they do on a daily basis for their HIV/AIDS community. This was just an extension of their appreciation to those that have never been honored for fighting the fight…not only for our country’s Freedom but also for our individual Freedom to love who they love without fear.

They look forward to celebrating with their service men and women at this year’s event. For more information on the event, please visit www.letsgoplay2011.com or on facebook at www.facebook.com/letsgoplay

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