Former U.S. Secretary of State (1973-1977) and Nobel Peace Laureate Dr. Henry Kissinger joined Chicago’s foremost civic, business and charitable leaders, community members, local Holocaust survivors, and international dignitaries at the Hyatt Regency Chicago on Thursday evening to celebrate the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center’s 2014 Humanitarian Awards Dinner, honoring three extraordinary individuals and paying tribute to local Holocaust survivors. The evening culminated in an interview of Dr. Kissinger by esteemed author Scott Turow.
The Illinois Holocaust Museum presented its 2014 Humanitarian Awards to John A. Canning, Jr., co-founder and chairman of Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC and Thomas S. Ricketts, chairman of Incapital, LLC and the Chicago Cubs for their many accomplishments and commitment to improving our society. Additionally, Richard S. Hirschhaut, founding executive director of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, received the Distinguished Community Leadership Award in recognition for his years of service to help build the Museum and commitment to transforming the future.
Museum president and Holocaust survivor Fritzie Fritzshall shared, “We are pleased to have the opportunity to honor these extraordinary individuals who embody the ‘Power of One’—the concept that one person has the power to make an impact on our society to combat injustice. John and Tom have been unwavering in their support of our institution and its commitment to educating current and future generations about the dangers of intolerance and bigotry—for this we are deeply appreciative. And we commend Richard for his vision and leadership, which enabled us to build this remarkable institution and helped to fulfill its vital mission.”
“The Humanitarian Award has become a symbol of the belief that we can improve society—of teaching young and old alike the importance of combating prejudice, hatred and unchecked bigotry,” said Canning. “As a longtime supporter of the Illinois Holocaust Museum, I share this vision of transforming the future and am honored to receive this notable award.”
“I am proud to receive the Humanitarian Award—the Illinois Holocaust Museum is a world class institution that compels, teaches and guides us to overcome intolerance and indifference,” said Ricketts. “This award will help to remind me and others that each of us has a role to play in making the world a better place.”
Noted Hirschhaut, “I am deeply honored to receive the Distinguished Community Leadership Award from the remarkable institution I was privileged to lead for the past decade. There is no place quite like the Illinois Holocaust Museum. Its daily rhythms reflect humanity at its best. The Museum has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands, each of whom come away inspired by the survivors and moved by its universal lessons of compassion and hope. I am truly grateful to my devoted colleagues and Museum leadership, who shared in realizing this dream."
Dinner honorary chairs included Governor Pat Quinn, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and former Mayor Richard M. Daley. Dinner co-chairs include Jack S. Levin, Harvey L. Miller, Jim O’Connor, Bill Osborn, J.B. Pritzker and Larry D. Richman.
Through this gala, the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center raised more than $2.3 million support of its mission and ongoing educational initiatives.