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Task Force Mourns Winter Party Volunteer Who Died of COVID-19

Ron Rich

Ron Rich is the second COVID-19 casualty who attended the LGBTQ fundraiser, held before a national emergency was declared.

A volunteer for the National LGBTQ Task Force died last weekend due to COVID-19.

The organization posted a remembrance of Ron Rich Tuesday on Facebook. Rich was a "loyal volunteer" with Task Force as well as other LGBTQ organizations including the Outshine Film Festival and Lambda Legal.

In its statement, the Task Force remembered Rich's "big smile and warmth," adding, "He will be missed. We extend our condolences to his family and friends."[facebook expand=1 site_id=25879312]

"'They're putting me on a ventilator' was the last thing he wrote me, and that was Friday morning," friend Vin Kruger told WPLG, a Florida ABC affiliate. "He was just, for me, he was like my security blanket."

Rich was a volunteer during the Miami Beach Winter Party, an annual Task Force fundraiser that takes place in early March. Several attendees have reported contracting the novel coronavirus since the gathering, which drew around 10,000 partygoers. Attendee Israel Carrera, 40, died last week of COVID-19 -- the first reported casualty in Miami-Dade County.

The Winter Party occurred just prior to President Trump's declaration of a national emergency and the rush of "stay-at-home" orders that have occurred to combat the spread of the virus. Los Angeles held its marathon the same weekend prior to a sudden turn to lockdown.

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