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Chicagoans of the Year

By Rachelle Bowden in News on Dec 16, 2004 1:48PM

Every year Chicago Magazine chooses a handful of people who they believe have made our city a better place. This year they've chosen 6 people to honor as Chicagoans of the Year:

2004_12_bryan.gifJohn H. Bryanis the former chairman of Sara Lee and current board director of General Motors, Goldman Sachs, and BP who helped get the funds to build Millennium Park. He also rescued Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House when it was about to be moved out of state following a public auction.

Lynn Kiley brought SOS, an international organization begun by med students 60 years ago to care for Europe's war orphans, to Chicago and built SOS Children's Villages Illinois.

2004_12_EllaJenkins.jpgElla Jenkins is an 80-year-old singer and musician who has recorded children's music for almost 50 years. Last February she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy.

Kenny Ruiz fights gangs by struggling to reform gang members themselves. Many experts believe that once someone enters a gang then they're lost but Ruiz begs to differ. He specializes in pulling kids out of gangs and using his faith to show them another life.

2004_12_mulqueen.jpgMichael Mulqueen is a former brigadier general who now runs the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Under his leadership the organization has become one of the nation's most successful not-for-profits and a model for food banks across the country.

2004_12_haslip.jpgMonica Haslip gave up a successful corporate career to create Little Black Pearl, a community outreach organization in Bronzeville that teaches children not only how to appreciate and create art, but how to sell it.

On January 19th there will be a lunch at the Four Seasons to celebrate the 6 above, as well as Chicago's past honorees - 85, in all.