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art institute

Windy City Times: Lambda Legal Executive Director Kevin Cathcart at Bon Foster Awards

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Longtime businessman, activist and philanthropist Fred Eychaner received a standing ovation from the hundreds of people attending the Lambda Legal Bon Foster benefit April 23, 2014, at the Art Institute of Chicago. Eychaner was presented the award named in honor of Foster, whose bequest helped establish the Midwest Office of Lambda Legal more than 20 years ago. The event was a celebration of Lambda Legal's work in Illinois and nationally, not just on marriage equality, but on a myriad of LGBT and HIV/AIDS issues. Speakers included Lambda Legal Executive Director Kevin Cathcart; Camilla Taylor, Lambda Counsel and Marriage Project National Director; Jim Bennett, Lambda Midwest Regional Director; John McGowan, national leader of Northern Trust's LGBT and non-traditional practice; and Ray Koenig and Johnny Song, who introduced Eychaner. In his speech, Eychaner looked back on more than 40 years of LGBT progress, from the transgender people fighting back at Stonewall, to those in ACT UP fighting for their lives against HIV and AIDS, to the lesbians who gave blood when gay men could not, to the hatred spawned by Reagan-era Republicans, to Irwin Keller and Jonathan Katz of Gay and Lesbian Town Meeting fighting for rights in Chicago in the 1980s, and to the present battle for marriage. "Always remember, never forget," he chanted at several points. Video by Sam Abeysekera