May 21, 2014 NEWS RELEASE — Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service to Host 75th Anniversary Gala

Published On: Donate

For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Miji Bell, 410-230-2841

BALTIMORE – Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) will celebrate its 75th anniversary by hosting the Walk of Courage Award Gala on Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 6:00p.m. at the Hilton Baltimore, 401 W. Pratt Street.

The Walk of Courage Award will be presented to Rich Cho, General Manager of the NBA Charlotte Hornets and former refugee from Burma, and the Walk of Faith Award to Rev. John Frerking, retired Lutheran Pastor and refugee resettlement champion.

The keynote speaker will be United States Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), longtime friend of LIRS and tireless advocate for immigrant and refugee rights. In addition, the Master of Ceremonies will be Mawi Asgedom whose bestselling memoir chronicles his journey as a refugee from Ethiopia, his family’s challenges adapting to American life, and his matriculation at Harvard University.

Honorary co-chairs for the event include: Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State; Carlos Gutierrez, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and co-chair, Republicans for Immigration Reform; The Hon. Molly Raiser; Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA); Rev. Matthew C. Harrison, President of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS); and Dean Lauma Zusevics, Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Gala sponsors include Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, InFaith Community Foundation, United Food and Commercial Workers Union, PORTICO Benefit Services, ELCA Mission Investment Fund and the Kim Clement Center.

The Gala is open to the public. Tickets are $100 per person for general seating and $250 per person for premium seating which includes a private reception with the speakers and honorees. For more information regarding tickets or sponsorship opportunities, visit the Gala website at or call 410-230-2755.


Founded in 1939, LIRS is nationally recognized for its leadership advocating with refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, immigrants in detention, families fractured by migration and other vulnerable populations, and for providing services to migrants through over 60 grassroots legal and social service partners across the United States. Celebrating 75 years of service and advocacy this year, LIRS has helped more than 500,000 migrants and refugees rebuild their lives in America.

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