Center on Halsted's annual "Human First" gala returned Friday, May 6, in an in-person format.
The event took place at the Old Post Office, 433 W. Van Buren St. Last year, the Center hosted a virtual "Human First Un*Gala." There was no gala in 2020, as it was the start of the COVID pandemic.
In its 15th-anniversary year, the gala brought together the community and allies in an evening of celebration to recognize the contributions that individuals, businesses and other organizations have made to the LGBTQ+ community in Chicago.
The gala honored civic leaders with the Human First Award and Community Spirit Award for contributions to the advancement of Chicago's LGBTQ movement. Honorees for Human First Awards were longtime Center supporters including community organizer Julio Rodriquez, co-founder and board president of one of the oldest LGBTQ non-profits in Chicago, ALMA; veteran activist Mary Morten, president of the Morten Group; and longtime volunteers and leaders of the Center's "green team," Bob and Susan Sullivan.
The Community Spirit Award for corporate commitment to the LGBTQ community was presented to William Blair, a global boutique with expertise in investment banking, investment management and private wealth management.
Award-winning dance-music icon Crystal Waters got the crowd moving with hits such as "100% Pure Love."
Photos by Kat Fitzgerald