Lynn Greer

The Legacy Fund of The Columbus Foundation will honor Lynn Greer’s relentless pursuit of equality and her devotion to the Central Ohio gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (GLBT) and allied communities at a May 25, 2010 event at The Columbus Foundation from 5:30 to 7:00 pm.   Lynn Greer has been breaking barriers on behalf of others her entire life.

Greer’s advocacy work for social justice began with the AIDS-related death of her brother, Michael, in 1986.  Since then, she has dedicated her life to raising awareness of and gaining equal rights for the gay and lesbian community and people living with HIV/AIDS.  Greer chaired the HIV/AIDS Community Advisory Coalition of Metropolitan Columbus, and has been a volunteer for the Columbus AIDS Task Force.  She has worked extensively promoting AIDS-related legislation, and her efforts garnered national coverage in the March 12, 1990 issue of Newsweek Magazine.

Through her AIDS activism, Greer became involved with the political process. Greer served as an intern with the Human Rights Campaign and worked with U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy and his staff on the passage of the Federal Comprehensive AIDS Bill, which became law in 1988. In 1991, she served as the founding co-chair of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, a national organization in Washington, DC that works to elect gay people to public office.

“Lynn’s impact on the national stage is widely unknown in Columbus.  Unlike most others, Lynn has worked in the most basic of grass-roots ways to advance equality, like working for HRC and participating in three marches on Washington,” said Bill Brownson, Co-Chair of The Legacy Fund.  “As a founding co-chair of the Victory Fund, she has worked to help openly GLBT candidates win elected office.  Lynn has tapped her national relationships to advance our cause here and around the country time and again, and largely in very quiet ways.”

In 1994, Greer was appointed by Columbus Mayor Greg Lashutka to the Columbus Recreation and Parks Commission, for which she served as vice chair.  She has also been an active board member of the Victorian Village Commission, Friends of Gooddale Park and the YWCA of Central Ohio.  In 1998, Greer was selected as a YWCA Woman of Achievement and inducted into the Academy of Women.

For many years, Greer ran a family-owned business of apartment complexes in Columbus.  The involvement led to another area of interest – affordable housing.  She was appointed to the Senior Housing Project for the Catholic Diocese of Columbus and served on the Development Advisory Board for Habitat for Humanity Columbus.

One of Greer’s biggest lasting legacies on the Central Ohio community was the birth of the future entity that became known as The Legacy Fund.  Greer, along with a number of individuals from the GLBT community, began discussions in the late 1990s that focused on the need for developing a financial support system for the region’s GLBT community. In 2000, The Legacy Fund of The Columbus Foundation was born.

Perhaps the words of Lynn Greer, which she wrote in an essay in 2000, best sum up her years of work, “I spend my days looking for ways to educate society about the injustice that gays and lesbians face, sometimes that means I am a visible ‘lesbian’ at a charity luncheon or educating elected officials and candidates. Sometimes it means writing a check, or attending a meeting at Stonewall Columbus or traveling across the country to attend a Victory Fund board meeting. Our work is ongoing.”

In 1996, Greer founded a political consulting company, “Makin’ Things Happen,” which specialized in political consulting and fundraising for candidates interested in supporting GLBT issues. Lynn continued to make things happen on behalf of the interests of the GLBT community.  Greer and a business partner began a media outlet for the growing gay and lesbian community.  Outlook Publishing took off beyond expectations in the first year.  Under Greer’s leadership, the company’s circulation grew to more than 10,000 readers.  This publication brought important issues to light and connected gay owned and allied businesses to the GLBT community.

“Lynn has advanced the work of the human rights movement like few others, and in the process has inspired a new generation of advocates throughout Central Ohio and the country,” said Susan White, Co-Chair of The Legacy Fund.  “Lynn has worked tirelessly to educate local, state and national elected officials on issues facing the GLBT community.  Lynn is one of the greatest ambassadors that the Central Ohio GLBT community has ever had.”

 Lynn Greer’s other love is golf.  She developed a love for the sport at a very early age.  In 1978, Greer began her career as a professional golfer at a time when there were few women playing the game.  During the six years she spent as head pro at a golf club in Fort Myers, Florida, she encouraged women to take up the sport.  Greer was a member of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and was elected as the second female member of the Professional Golf Association (PGA).

 Since 2000, The Legacy Fund of The Columbus Foundation has bestowed the “Legacy Fund Honor” on Rhonda Rivera in 2006 and Fred Holdridge and Howard Burns in 2008.

Media support for the 2010 Legacy Fund Honors is provided by Outlook Media. Corporate support for the 2010 Legacy Fund Honors is provided by SMK and Union Café.   The prestigious event is made possible through the generous support of the following sponsors (*denotes Legacy Fund Board Members):

ACE SPONSORS: David Arocho, *Artz, Dewhirst & Wheeler, Attorneys at Law, *Kathy Bowman & Kim Seibert, *Chad Braun & Paul Feeney, *Bill Brownson & Myron Phillips, The Honorable Richard Cordray, *Leslie Fine & Marian Lowe, Elliot Fishman & Dale Abrams, Chuck Gehring, LifeCare Alliance/Project Open Hand, Gill Action, Sue Greer, Tom Grote & Rick Neal, Patrick Guerriero, Barbara Havens & Thomas Havens, *Jo Hickman & Jodi Cooley, Janet E. Jackson, United Way of Central OH, LeeAnn M. Massucci & Lori J. Brown, Maryann Simpson, *Susan White & Anne Casto and Kate Wise & Pamela Rosen.

EAGLE SPONSORS: Herb Asher, Bob Barnes & Ryan Poirier, Lynne Bowman & Nanci Ferguson, The Honorable Marilyn Brown & The Honorable Eric Brown, Jeff & Liz Cabot, The Honorable John Patrick Carney, Rick Carrick & Tim Birchfield, Cheryl Carter & Toni Saitta, The Honorable Ted Celeste, *Karen Cookston, Shannon Zee Cross, *Steve Daley & Robert Conley, Henry W. Eckhart and Claudine Eckhart, Chip Elam & Annalise Corbin, Jim Elliott & John Behal, Dr. Ellen Ewing, Jerry Hammond & Mary Jo Green, Scott Heimlich & Scott Brown, Don Laufersweiler , Cynthia Lazarus, Michael Leonard, *Darla Luebbe & Elaine Stewart, Michael Maly & Gregory Espinoza, Jack Miner & Brian Dozer, Brook Pickrell & Michele Chavane, Jeffrey D. Porter & Tim Woodward, *Mary Lynn Readey & Sandra Anderson, *Linda Schuler & Karla Rothan, Steve Shellabarger, Jeff Smith & Dwayne Sattler, *Barbara Sokol, *Marianne Steger & Lisa Zellner, Lynn Wallich, Wexner Center for the Arts and John Wirchanski.

BIRDIE SPONSORS: Bart Anderson, Steven C. Anderson, Jim Arter, Alison Barret, The Honorable Laurel Beatty, Rob Berger, Doug Bloss, Rick Brott & Mike Shasky, Andrea Cambern, Sheila Clark, David Cunningham, Jay Dascenzo, *Gregg Dodd, Anne E. Eckhart, Kathy Espy, Amy Fair, *Omar Faruk, Carol Fey, Russ Goodwin, Matt Habash, Bill Hedrick, Wayne Lawson, Pat Logsdon, *Jeff Mackey, Sue Mayer, Lori Morris, Jeff Redfield, Jane Scott, Bruce Shalter, Brian Shinn, Michael Stinziano, Melinda Swan, Charles E. Ticknor, III and Thomas Tootle, Lori and Kelly Trent.