Howard Brown Employee Dealt Meth + Chicago Fireball

Chicago Police have busted an employee of the Howard Brown Center – one of the major (and acclaimed) gay outreach centers in the city – for dealing crystal meth. I hope this doesn’t tarnish Howard Brown’s image – I hold them in huge esteem for their response to HIV for everybody in the city as well as a commitment to the overall mental health of the Boystown crowd.

Anderson, 44, was arrested Wednesday afternoon at Howard Brown Health Center in the 4000 block of North Sheridan after Town Hall District police raided his Lake View home and found 109 grams of meth worth about $36,000, authorities said.

Dear Chicago Police: Really serious about the meth problem? Do some strategic frisking at Fireball this weekend and I bet you’ll make a ton of arrests (as well as be criticized for targeting gays).

Low-hanging fruit, people. Heh: fruits.

10 thoughts on “Howard Brown Employee Dealt Meth + Chicago Fireball

  1. David

    I love how Rick Garcia is always quoted for anything ‘Gay’. You’re Fireball idea would close down the event. Remember, Andy, .0005%
    goes to AIDS research!

  2. Jake

    Police raids on Fireball? That just CAN’T happen! It would be so unfair! Fireball does so much for the gay community. It brings us together. It helps ward off disease. It gives us something positive to do with our lives instead of getting high and fucking bareback and throwing attitude. Having a police raid would be a terrible, terrible sha …

    OK. It would be totally cool. I hope they sell tickets so I can watch.

  3. Andy

    I just tried to call the Hearts Foundation to ask them their percent of the event goes to the actual organization – and further what percent of that goes to their cause but I got a fast-busy signal.

  4. RcktMan

    I’m getting as far away from Fireball-land as I can this weekend… visiting family in WI. I can’t stand circuit parties and/or what they represent. I’d be sitting with y’all sipping mai tais and waving pride flags if that happened too. Serves em right.

    It seems to me that I read recently that almost 80% of the money raised by Fireball goes to throwing Fireball. The rest goes to staff and a measley portion goes to charity. Yeah, that’s helpful. Meanwhile, during the weekend, the problems that the charities are trying to deal with are being further exacerbated by the drug use, unsafe sex and wanton partying that goes on. Seems like robbing Peter to pay Paul if you ask me.

  5. Joe.My.God.

    Fireball is an event put on by The Hearts Foundation, a not-for-profit organization.

    According to their website:

    “Over the past fifteen years, the Hearts Foundation and its predecessor, the Hearts Committee, have raised over $2.4 million for Chicago’s gay and lesbian and HIV/AIDS service organizations.”

    That means they donate on average close to $200,000 a year. I have no idea what the cost of their events are, but that’s not bad for 3 days take. Not to mention that Fireball is one of the few non-profit parties left.

    Like Winter Party, Fireball is almost entirely volunteer run. Don’t discount the hard work of these people.

    And if you think that drug-taking and unsafe sex only occur during circuit weekends, you are kidding yourself. If anything (and I’m only speaking as someone who has attended hundreds of these events over the last 15 years), sex amongst the attendees is probably LESS than on other weekends, basically because there just isn’t that much time available.

    Joe

  6. Andy

    you are kidding yourself

    Oh God no. Drug taking is a year-round pursuit. I just find constant disconnect between the purpose of circuit parties and the reasons (many) people go to them. I’ve never heard someone say they are going to a circuit party because it is for a good cause.

    Flip-side: it does suck that the charities can’t just get the money from donors without having to have a lavish yearly party. But I bet you could call ten non-profits and find the exact same problem.

  7. Joe.My.God.

    Thanks for that “many.”

    A lot of my friends tend to cherry-pick the parties they attend these days. As the entire circuit scene has been waning for the last few years (thanks to the advent of crystal, btw), I’m seeing my friends choose parties that benefit particular causes. That’s just my small circle though, and we are older than the average party-goer and certainly attend fewer events.

    Personally, I’ve gone from 15 or more events a year to just a handful. That’s becoming more common for many. I’d say the entire circuit scene will have gone from 100+ events at its prime (including various Pride parties), to fewer than 20 within a couple of years. Many have dropped off the radar recently, including the Red Party, which is in your necks of the woods, I think.

  8. Gigamatt

    Red Party was here in Cowtown till the organizer died, and out of respect for his wishes, the party ended. (sidenote: I occasionally did typesetting for him — nice guy!) The locals tried to replace it with Chrome Party, but from what I heard, it’s not doing well. It also has extended festivities over 3 days.

    The only reason we ever went was for the good music, but at $40 per ticket (5 years ago) and outrageous charges ($4 and up) for even a 10oz glass of tap water, we could see better djs with less crowds and better prices at the local straight mega-clubs, and donate some cash to charities.

    Not like Cowtown has much of a circuit-party crowd anyway…

  9. RcktMan

    Joe, just so you (and the rest of the readers here) are clear… Yes, the Hearts Foundation has donated some significant money over the years to AIDS charities. Note the words “Over The Years.” In recent years, however, the donations have dwindled quite considerably.

    From Chicagoist.com:

    “In recent months, controversy has surrounded Hearts, its board members, and the amount of money actually going to charities.

    Founded in 1998 by Michael L. Jackson (yes, the alleged cabbie killer), the Hearts Foundation’s first years proved successful for raising money — upwards of $200,000 annually until 2001.

    According to Chicago Free Press’ Louis Weisberg, who was given access to their financials, things began spiraling out of control like a raver on ecstasy when Allen Lungo took over as president and treasurer in 2001. In 2003, Hearts and charities profited only $28,000 on revenues of $443,000. In 2004, six board members resigned and Lungo later “moved” to Costa Rica, where he hasn’t been heard from since. Allegations of embezzlement have been denied by the organization.

    Newly appointed president Dennis Sneyers aims to resuscitate Hearts by cutting expenses and generating more profit for area HIV/AIDS charities.

    As circuit-going gay men flood into Chicago over the next week, it remains to be seen whether Fireball 2005 will be a successful fundraiser. Chicagoist will report more on Fireball next week.

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