While music is the heart of Hard Rock, philanthropy is its soul, and since 1971 Hard Rock International has made a positive difference in giving back through musical events — like the recent “Love Will Lead You Back” Taylor Dayne Velvet Sessions concert at Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando — which benefited the onePULSE Foundation.
Owners of the former Pulse Nightclub in Orlando created OnePULSE Foundation as a sanctuary of hope following the tragic day in American history – Sunday, June 12, 2016. The foundation honors the 49 angels who were taken, the 68 others who were injured and the countless first responders and healthcare professionals who treated them.
“At Hard Rock, giving back is part of our DNA,” said Carlton Hudson, Managing Director of Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando for 14 years. “As the 3rd-year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub tragedy nears, we thought ‘let’s bring in Taylor Dayne to perform at Velvet Sessions because she’s universally popular with the gay community — it’s a natural fit because the power of music heals and unites us all.”
Dale Hipsch, Senior Vice President of Hotels at Hard Rock International, is on the onePULSE Foundation board of directors. “I’m honored to serve and to participate in a meaningful way in the wake of this crisis. I’m pleased to announce the Hard Rock Heals Foundation and the Seminole Tribe of Florida are contributing $10,000 to help endow the onePULSE Foundation. I encourage everyone to keep an on the international design competition for the memorial and help us raise money for the families and community members impacted.”
CEO and Executive Director of the onePULSE Foundation, Barbara Poma is an original owner of the Pulse Nightclub. “For family members and survivors, the healing process is ongoing. After the tragedy, I wanted to help the community heal and ensure the memory and legacy of the 49 angels.”
The onePULSE Foundation has three branches — the national memorial museum (currently in the design competition submission phase); 49 scholarships named for each of the angles; and an educational component through onePULSE Academy that promotes unity to reduce the divide in our society.
“While Pulse was primarily a gay bar, it was always inclusive and diverse. Many of the victims impacted the day of the tragedy were not on the gay spectrum at all,” said Poma. “Two mothers died that day. One was there dancing with her gay son…and another was having her first night out after having given birth a few weeks prior. Young women were there dancing with their gay friends. Straight men were there dancing because they loved the music.
“OnePULSE is a defining mission and healing initiative that we hope inspires supporters who share our vision and understand the solemn and sacred responsibility to which we have been entrusted,” Poma continued.
The Hard Rock Heals Foundation was founded to unite all philanthropic efforts, including global initiatives and local events, under one charity platform to benefit one common goal: making the world a better place through music. By the close of 2021, Hard Rock Heals Foundation’s goal is to fundraise a minimum of $10 million for organizations immersed in music philanthropy. For more information, go to http://www.hardrock.com/healsfoundation.
For more information about the onePULSE Foundation, visit