Gay Desert Hot Springs

Make A Difference In A Young Person’s Life – The Coachella Valley PRIDE Scholarship Fund

Posted on December 7, 2022

Our Mission is to provide students tuition and living funds at the College of the Desert who identify as LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, or Asexual).

2022 was a good year for CVPSF.

Help us make 2023 even better.

Donor Spotlight


Melissa Austin~

As a retired university professor, I have seen first-hand the value of education. Although I initially chose academia primarily to do research, I soon discovered that the most gratifying aspect of my job was mentoring students, and seeing them use their education to begin their own successful careers.

I was fortunate that my own graduate studies were supported by Public Health Service traineeships and Regent’s fellowships at the University of California, Berkeley. Without these resources, it would have been much more difficult to achieve my goal of becoming an epidemiologist, researcher, and professor.

As a lesbian, I also appreciate the unique challenges faced by LBGTQAI+ students in higher education. Thus, it is my great pleasure to contribute to the CV Pride Scholarship Fund at the College of the Desert. I hope the scholarships will encourage students in our community to remain confident and to persevere in realizing their educational goals. 


To provide students tuition and living funds at the College of the Desert who identify as LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, or Asexual).


Be a part of the solution and contribute any amount that makes you feel good.


Join our social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram and share our project with your social networks, family, and friends.

Pay It Forward Project

#PayitForward is our campaign to assist those students that are looking for a better way to support their ability to attend higher levels of education.




“I want to be a teachers assistant for special education.  I really enjoy working with special needs kids and adults.  I love bringing joy to their days.  I like helping kids learn in different ways because I needed to be taught in different ways as well.  Thank you again”


Founder – William C. Tumelty

William C. Tumelty grew up in New Jersey and studied in Washington, D.C prior to serving four years in the United States Air Force while stationed in South Dakota. He completed his MBA in Denver, Colorado and enjoyed a fulling career as a Commercial Banker.  He continued his career when he moved to California in 1999 and retired and made Palm Springs his home in 2011.

​William has enriched his life volunteering with nonprofit organizations such as Meals on Wheels, Colorado AIDS Buddy when AIDS patients were ostracized, serving holiday meals for organizations like Well in the Desert, and volunteering for fundraising events. He also served as a Board of Director for multiple nonprofits.

​Tumelty says “I don’t have any offspring nor significant other, so I felt I wanted to leave some sort of legacy and chose a scholarship venue”. When asked why a scholarship Tumelty says “ I love education and feel it helps us attain our goals and broaden our perceptions of the world, making us better people through understanding ourselves and others”.

Team members – Lucio Bernal & Jon M. Smith

Lucio A. Bernal and Jon M. Smith had been looking for a “purpose” outside their normal work as a real estate team in Palm Springs. They had many options but stumbled on one by mere fate.  “One day we received a call from our friend William saying that he was giving a scholarship and was asked to give a speech.

Both Jon and I mentioned to him that he could practice his speech with us and that we would be delighted to attend in support” states Lucio.

Several weeks later both Lucio and Jon attended the event and walked away with a longing to give a helping hand to William. Jon says “The night was so emotional. To see the gratitude and hear the emotional stories of the recipients that night was both heart wrenching and inspiring!”.

​Lucio and Jon both feel the same about William: a humble, caring, and sincere person who finds good in others.


“Your scholarship will take a huge part in my financial transition from community college to a Cal State.  As well in my personal transition as a trans man.  Thank you for allowing me to start my new life with confidence in myself to achieve my academic goals”

“I identify as a pansexual Trans man, I’m 20 years old, and I have struggled quite a bit to get by since I turned 18. I lived in Mexico until I was 3, then lived in Arizona, went into foster care for two years at age 6, and then was placed into the legal custody of my distant aunt and uncle here in California. The relationship with them was terrible, and although I am grateful for their shelter for me, there was no love really, and they made it clear I was to leave their home as soon as I turned 18.”

“I would like to thank you for supporting the LGBTQIA+ community here at College of the Desert and for choosing me to be a recipient of a scholarship. Since the time I graduated high school in 1993, the educational experience for gays and lesbians in school has changed enormously. It means so much to me that within my lifetime, I have witnessed the LGBTQIA+ community move from the shadows into the light. And it is support from patrons such as yourself that ensure that our community will continue to strengthen. Those of us attending College of the Desert will be able to nourish our minds so that we can give back to our community, too.”

Donors to Date:

2021 – $30,407 in Donations

William C. Tumelty – Palm Springs, CA

Lucio A. Bernal – Palm Springs, CA

Jon M. Smith – Palm Springs, CA

Joni B – Colorado Springs, CA

Mary B – Kirkland, WA

Charles Schwab Matching Gift

Fidelity Matching Gift

Clayton F – Palm Springs, CA

Doris H – Moscow, ID

Mark H – Rancho Mirage, CA

Dwayne J – Sherman Oaks, CA

James K – Los Angeles, CA

Sue K-F – Fishers, IN

Kylan N – Palm Desert, CA

J. Anthony O – Portland, OR

Donna R – Palm Desert, CA

Robert R – Palm Springs, CA

Sebastian R – Palm Springs, CA

Robin S – Northridge, CA

John S – Genesee, ID

Barbara T – Brookline, MA

Robert T – Jackson, NJ

James V D – Palm Springs, CA

Kori W-F – Austin, TX

2020 – Sixteen $500 Scholarship Recipients in the Fall semester – 20 $500 Scholarship Recipients for the Winter 2022 semester

William C. Tumelty – Palm Springs, CA

Lucio A. Bernal – Palm Springs, CA

Jon M. Smith – Palm Springs, CA

Melissa A – Seattle, WA

Joni B – La Quinta, CA

Karen B – Las Vegas, NV

Robert C – Palm Springs, CA

Gregory D – Honolulu, HI

Margaret D – Ft. Worth, TX

Greg E – Santa Rosa, CA

Norm F – San Diego, CA

Ronald G – Rancho Mirage, CA

Garth G – Hanalei, HI

Sally G – Vancouver, CANADA

Jim G – San Diego, CA

Laura G – Redondo Beach, CA

Doris H – Moscow, ID

Norman H – Santa Barbara, CA

Mark H – Rancho Mirage, CA

Institute of Luxury Home Marketing – Dallas, TX

Dwayne J – Los Angeles, CA

James K – San Diego, CA

Keith K – Los Angeles, CA

Norman K – Lake Balboa, CA

Sue K-F – Indianapolis, IN

Lisa L – Burien, WA

Brian L – Palm Desert, CA

Silva M – Palm Springs, CA

William M – Palm Springs, CA

J. Anthony O – Portland, OR

Robert P – Santa Barbara, CA

Robert R – Palm Springs, CA

Timothy R – Palm Springs, CA

Donna R – Palm Desert, CA

John S – Genesee, ID

Lynae S – Minneapolis, MN

Barbara T – Boston, MA

Mary Ellen T – Saratoga, FL

James V – Palm Springs, CA

Kori W-F – Austin, TX

Dennis W – Ouray, CO

2019 – 5 Scholarship Recipients

William C. Tumelty – Palm Springs, CA

Bonnie T & Bill E – Brookline, MA

Tom E – Cairo, NE

Joni & Rick B – La Quinta, CA

Mark H – Rancho Mirage, CA

Eric H – Chicago, IL

Robert T – Jackson, NJ

William C. Tumelty – Palm Springs, CA


To donate by credit card:

 1.  Go to
2.  Click on “Opportunities to Give”
3.  Click on Scholarships/Programs
4.  Fill out the form.  In the drop-down menu,
the CV Pride Scholarship is listed as a fund.