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Howard Brown statue returned

by Windy City Times Staff
Friday Jul 10, 2009

A statue that was stolen off the grounds of Howard Brown Health Center, 4025 N. Sheridan, the item has been returned, according to the agency's Facebook page.

The statue, in memory of lesbian health advocate Mary York, was discovered missing from the center's Memorial Peace Garden June 22. Employees of the health center were particularly distressed because the statue was affixed with cement containing some of York's ashes.

York's partner, LaGenia Bailey, donated the statue to complement the peace garden, which was planted and dedicated to both York and fellow lesbian health advocate Lisa Tonna in June 2008.

According to Howard Brown's Facebook page, dated July 6, "After [a] dismayed response from the local community and media, word about the theft spread, and perhaps those who took the near 100-pound statue and base gave more thought to their actions.

"Chicago Police officers were called when the statue was spotted on the sidewalk, in front of the memorial plaque that dedicates the garden to Lisa Tonna and Mary York, two women whose work and lives powerfully touched the LGBT community in many ways.

"Whatever the circumstances of the statue's theft, we are grateful that it was returned intact. We like to think that Mary and Lisa had something to do with its return."

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