Pulse nightclub shooting victims honored at West Hollywood fundraiser as 1-year anniversary nears

Amy Powell Image
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
WeHo fundraiser benefits Pulse shooting victims
A fundraiser was held at the Abbey in West Hollywood on Monday, June 5, 2017, for the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando.

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- A fundraiser was held Monday evening at the Abbey Food & Bar in West Hollywood to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Several survivors of the June 12, 2016, incident shared their stories at the sold-out event, held at the well-known gay bar that is a local institution.

"I survived, uninjured, and I tried to help as many people as I could," said Pulse employee Neema Bahrami, recalling the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Forty-nine people were killed in the incident and dozens of others were injured.

"What stayed with me was the next day, was the outpour of love," Bahrami said. "I try to block out all of the hate that happened that night."

The more than $25,000 raised at Monday's event will be donated to the onePULSE Foundation, a charity founded by Pulse's owner, Barbara Poma, who is working on creating a memorial.

"Much like (the) 9/11 and the Oklahoma City bombing memorials, that's how we're modeling it," Poma said. "We just truly feel that we can never forget what happened there, to all of us."

David Cooley, owner of the Abbey, said: "It does affect all of us."

"We just wanted to make sure that they know on the East Coast that the West Coast loves them."