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Stella Foster recognized for journalism career

Left Right: StellFoster LarLogan Chicago Journalists Associaticeremony Friday October 14 2011. |  Phoby Steve Starr

Left to Right: Stella Foster and Lara Logan at the Chicago Journalists Association ceremony, Friday, October 14, 2011. | Photo by Steve Starr

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Updated: November 19, 2011 8:45AM

T HIS HUMBLE COLUMNIST experienced an evening of love and happiness that I will never, ever forget.

ON FRIDAY, the Chicago Journalists Association’s awards dinner was held at the beautiful Holiday Inn Mart Plaza. I was honored to be among the distinguished awardees and received CJA’s Lifetime Achievement award in recognition of my Stella’s Column and my 34 years of working as an assistant to the legendary Chicago Sun-Times entertainment columnist, the late and great Irv “Kup” Kupcinet.

THE EVENING was co-hosted by the husband and wife broadcasting duo of WLS-Channel 7’s Karen Jordan and WMAQ-Channel 5’s Christian Farr. The other awardees were CBS News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Lara Logan, who received the prestigious Daniel Pearl award; the very talented Tribune arts critic Howard Reich, the Chicago Journalist of the Year award; the Tribune’s Mary Schmich and June Brigman, the Dale Messick (Brenda Starr) Award.

AND CONGRATULATIONS to my Sun-Times colleagues who were among the recipients of the Sarah Brown Boyden awards for their work in the areas of business, photography, online journalism, public service, editorial commentary, as well as the “best of the best.”

THE RECEPTION and dinner was packed with dynamic and wonderful Chicagoans and friends from all walks of life, including the TV/radio broadcasters and their station bosses, the print/electronic media, sports figures, civic/community leaders, doctors, lawyers, judges, justices, public relations, educators, restaurant/nightclub owners, the financial/ business/corporate communities, entrepreneurs, clergymen, the music industry, and the political set were all in the house.

I WANT TO TAKE this time to thank Gov. Pat Quinn, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, state Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, Clerk of the Circuit Court Dorothy Brown, state Rep. LaShawn Ford, Chief Judge of the Circuit Court Tim Evans, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Ann Burke and Ald. Ed Burke and so, so many of Our Town dignitaries and cool people who took the time out of their busy schedules to share in this joyful celebration. Quinn spoke so highly of this columnist, that I started to ask him “Who are you talking about?” (Smile)

I WISH I could name every one of the caring folks who attended, but if I did, I certainly would need more than this column space to do so. But all of you, please know how much I appreciate the endless support. I also want to thank my Sun-Times’ team of bosses headed by Chairman/CEO Jeremy Halbreich for all that they do to bring the news to you.

MY SISTER, Jamie Foster Brown, and family flew in from Maryland to witness this occasion and said they were so proud to be a part of it. In fact, Jamie, who is a very engaging and captivating speaker, introduced me and presented the award. She was off the chain and the audience got a big kick out of her. Hey, we Foster girls from Englewood know how to make it rain with love and comedy.

AND A BIG thanks to CJA president Allen Rafalson and his board for all of their hard work. The proceeds raised will benefit the CJA and their student journalism scholarship fund. “Stella, more than 400 people attended the dinner and our historian tells us that no Chicago journalists organization has ever had this large of an attendance in the past two decades. And you, Stella, made this our finest hour,” says Rafalson.

AND FINALLY, thanks to former Sun-Times executives John Cruickshank and Michael Cooke, who felt that I had a strong enough readership following and had proven myself capable of reporting the news and gossip (just like Kup), gave this little girl from the South Side, an opportunity to have a voice and a platform by debuting Stella’s Column on Dec. 2, 2003, which I am still happy to be doing on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Yeah, I said it!

BIRTHDAY PEOPLE: Cosmetics diva Marilyn Miglin, Coach Mike Ditka, politico Emil Jones, restaurateur Jerrod Melman, WGN-Channel 9’s Jim Ramsey, vocalist Evie Glieberman, radio’s Troi Tyler. On Wednesday: Channel 7’s Alan Krashesky, actor John Lithgow and WGN radio’s John Williams.

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