Ron Magers Among Friends for Life Recipients

Wed. September 29, 2004 12:00 AM

Howard Brown To Honor Broadcaster, Three Others at 2004 Gala

Chicago, IL - Howard Brown Health Center will honor four notable recipients of their Friend For Life award at the agency’s 2004 Gala, scheduled for October 30 at the Hilton Chicago.

ABC-7 broadcaster Ron Magers (pictured), socialite Bunky Cushing, outgoing LCCP Board president Marsha East, and former Howard Brown board member Craig Hogan are the honorees at this year’s Gala, Howard Brown’s primary annual fund-raising event. The Friend For Life award honors community members who have dedicated significant time and personal resources towards improving health and wellness throughout the LGBT community.

Four-time Emmy Award winner Ron Magers, news anchor at ABC-7 News in Chicago, ranks among the most distinguished broadcast journalists in the country. A longtime supporter of the work of Howard Brown Health Center and other public service organizations (including Heartland Alliance), Mr. Magers has worked behind the scenes to engage others in our efforts. Professionally, he has been recognized with an Illinois Broadcasters Association Award, and an Ethics Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Mr. Magers hosted the annual Gala ceremony in 1995, 1998, and 2003.

Bunky Cushing is the creative mind behind Handbags and Halos, an annual luncheon benefiting Howard Brown Health Center and the agency’s Brown Elephant Resale Stores. Mr. Cushing joined Polo/Ralph Lauren in May 1980 as Sales and Merchandise consultant before joining Ralph Lauren in Chicago in 1990. He served as a contributing society editor for Chicago Social magazine in 1997, and is a member of the Hope B. McCormick Costume Center Advisory Board at the Chicago Historical Society.

The outgoing President of Lesbian Community Cancer Project’s (LCCP) Board of Directors, Marsha East held the position from July 2002 to August 2004 amidst financial strain and the threat of closure. Under Ms. East’s leadership, the agency was able to flourish again and continue serving Chicago’s lesbian population. Ms. East also worked with the Madison (Wisconsin) AIDS Support Network from 1992-1996, and participated in Howard Brown Health Center’s Women’s Advisory Group.

Craig Hogan, Howard Brown Board member from 1998 to 2004, has been instrumental in the success of countless endeavors throughout his tenure with the agency. Mr. Hogan chaired Howard Brown’s Leadership Council (formerly known as the Ron Sable Society), as well as the “Design Daze + 2004 Designer Garage Sale,” a collaborative effort with DIFFA/Chicago. Previously, the Texas native offered his fund-raising expertise at Houston’s AIDS Foundation, Montrose Clinic, and Bering Community Services.

Past recipients of the Friend For Life honor include Tom Tunney (1990), Gerber Hart Library (1995), P.F.L.A.G. (1996), Mayor Richard M. Daley and Maggie Daley (1999), and Billie Jean King (1999). The awards have been part of the agency’s gala event since 1987.

“Identity: Be who you want to be” is the theme of the 2004 Gala, a masquerade ball incorporating masks or “identities” and entertainment from around the world. This global approach to the Gala communicates the vision of Howard Brown Health Center as a resource to all members of the LGBT community. For tickets, or further information, please visit, or call (773) 388-8794.