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The Paramus Post - Greater Paramus News and Lifestyle Webzine
Monday, September 26 2016 @ 11:37 AM EDT

Courage Campaign Hosts 2nd Annual Spirit of Courage Awards in Los Angeles

On Thursday, September 20th, the 2nd Annual Spirit of Courage Awards, hosted by Courage Campaign, honored Toronto Maple Leafs President and GM Brian Burke and his son Patrick for their courageous work promoting respect for all athletes, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity through their organization, You Can Play, as featured on HBO, ESPN, USA Today and in the New York Times.

Emmy-Nominated Talk Show Host Lisa Ling Joined LA Kings Captain Dustin Brown, John O’Hurley and Wayne Gretzky to Honor Toronto Maple Leafs President and General Manager Brian Burke, Philadelphia Flyers Scout Patrick Burke, and California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris

California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, who recently spoke at the Democratic National Convention, was also honored for her work protecting homeowners and her unflagging leadership on LGBT equality.

A number of notable celebrities and athletes were on hand for the awards held at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Guests included Emmy-nominated talk-show host Lisa Ling, LA Kings Captain Dustin Brown, Wayne Gretzky, actor John O’Hurley, women’s rights advocate Sandra Fluke, Anaheim Duck owners Henry and Susan Samueli, and renowned producer, Jerry Bruckheimer.

Bruckheimer noted, “Brian and Patrick Burke, a dynamic father and son duo, have tirelessly worked to erase any taint of discrimination against athletes. It’s wonderful that Brian and Patrick are being honored by the Courage Campaign Institute, which will further help the world to accept the simple fact that on the field or in the arena, what really matters—and all that should matter—is the skill and heart of the athlete.”

Henry and Susan Samueli issued a statement regarding the importance of the Burkes’ campaign. “There is no room for homophobia in the NHL or any other sports league. The Anaheim Ducks are honored to stand with Patrick and Brian Burke and the Courage Campaign in ensuring equality and respect for all athletes regardless of their sexual orientation.”

The most memorable moment of the night, however, was the closing remarks by honoree Patrick Burke. In thanking Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, Burke said, “Ms. Harris, you keep fighting to make equality legal, we're going to make it cool.”

The 2nd Annual Spirit of Courage Awards were sponsored in part by the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings Care Foundation, National Hockey League Foundation, Chrysler, Los Angeles Lakers, and Michael Kors and Lance LePere.

For a full list of sponsors: https://secure.couragecampaign.org/page/contribute/SpiritofCourage

by Mel Fabrikant

Mel is a longtime Paramus resident and has belonged to many Paramus organizations. He is responsible for bringing the Scholarship Show to town and seeing to it that the initial presentation went over well. His five offspring were brought up through the Paramus school system. In addition, he is a longtime Paramus Rotary member.

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