Three Milford churches have come together to sponsor a family-friendly evening of folk/pop music starring award winning singer-songwriter Bobby Jo Valentine in a benefit concert for local LGBTQ+ advocacy group, Milford Pride, on Friday, Oct. 25, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., at First United Church of Christ, 34 West Main Street, Milford.

In addition to First United Church of Christ, Mary Taylor Memorial UMC and Woodmont UCC are event sponsors.

Valentine, an out gay advocate for equal rights for all, has performed around the globe. Among his numerous awards are Songwriter of the Year at the West Coast Songwriters Association and the SoCo Songwriter Competition, as well as the Nashville Next Level Songwriter award.

“We first heard Bobby’s inspiring music in 2017 when he performed for the ONA Coalition's National Gathering and the UCC’s General Synod in Baltimore, and we’ve been following him ever since,” said Jamie Mullen Rude, chair of the ONA Ministry at First Church of Milford. “We were looking for a way to live into our church’s Open and Affirming Covenant by having a benefit for Milford Pride, when we learned that Bobby was touring New England this fall. Things just wonderfully fell into place.”

“Milford Pride was founded in the summer of 2018 and has been spreading visibility, awareness, and education of LGBTQ+ experiences while harboring a safe space for LGBTQ+ identifying persons,” said Sarah O’Brien, chair of Milford Pride. “This concert will help us greatly as we further our mission of advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community. We are so grateful to the churches and other sponsors for their support. We have short-term goals of a cohesive Pride Week in the summer of 2020 to bring more educational and awareness events to Milford, as well as long-term goals of forming more concrete groups for LGBTQ+ teens and adults.”

Local business sponsors include Barrett Outdoor, Brewport, Humanitects, Keep-Safe Storage, Marisol Yoga, Milford Photo and The Canvas Patch.

For directions, to purchase tickets and for more information, visit firstchurchofmilford.org/bjv.