Local Legends Benefit

Each year, the History Center presents a new Local Legend, honoring someone who has contributed significantly to our community and the world.

This year we are proud to celebrate Don Pierson, Hall of Fame Football Writer, as our 2023 award recipient, marking our fourteenth Local Legend.

Please join us to celebrate Don's story on Saturday, October 28 at 4:00 pm at the History Center. Don will be interviewed by local author and journalist David Sweet. The setting is an intimate interview that encourages the sharing of little-known stories, behind-the-scenes anecdotes, and insights missing from standard biographies. 

Don joins the ranks of Jim Lovell, Adrian Smith, John Bryan, Richard Marx, Bill Kurtis and Donna LaPietra, Mark and Franklin McMahon, Ellen Stirling, Ryne Sandberg, Marian Phelps Pawlick, Jack Schuler, Dr. Eugene Hotchkiss III, the Honorable Susan Garrett, and Ed Wehmer.


David Sweet

Local Legends

We are thrilled to announce Don Pierson as our 2023 Local Legend!

Don Pierson covered sports, primarily pro football and the Bears, for 40 years with the Chicago Tribune. Chosen by the Bears to co-author the team’s Centennial Scrapbook in 2019, he also collaborated with Mike Ditka on the 1986 autobiography, DITKA. He served on a 40-person selection committee for pro football’s Hall of Fame and in 1994 won the Dick McCann award displayed at the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, for long and distinguished reporting of pro football. In 2009, he won the Ring Lardner Award for excellence in sports journalism. Don and his wife Kathy have lived in Lake Forest since 1974, the year before the Bears moved in.   

Local Legends Patron Sponsor Roll Call

$5,000 Wide Receiver Sponsorships

Tscharner and Thomas Hunter IV

Anne Hunting and Ari Mintz

Robin and Sandy Stuart

$2,500 Running Back Sponsorships

Karen Gray-Krehbiel and John Krehbiel

David and Pamela Waud

$1,000 Linebacker Sponsorships

Prue and Frank Beidler

Winnie and Bob Crawford

David and Molly Forlow

Susan and Scott Garrett

The Family of Roy Gregory

The Hale Family

David and Pamela Henkel

Eugene Hotchkiss III

Jeanne and Fred Jackson

David Seleb and John Cialone

Mary and Bob Shaw

James Stirling

$500 Tight End Sponsorships


Charlie and Calvine Bowen

Kathryn and Steven Cole

Kathy and James Dasso

Knauz Auto Group

Gertrude Hart

Andrew Park

Jim Phelps


Barbara and Alain Wood-Prince

Tom and Susan Strachan


Special thanks to our 2023 media sponsor




Don Pierson


2023 Local Legend Don Pierson



2022 Local Legend Ed Wehmer

Susan Garrett Patron Sponsor Invite


2021 Local Legend Susan Garrett

Gene Hotchkiss


2020 Local Legend Dr. Eugene Hotchkiss

2019 Local Legend Jack Schuler

2018 Local Legend Marian Phelps Pawlick

2017 Local Legend Ryne Sandberg

2016 Local Legend Ellen Stirling

2015 Local Legends Franklin and Mark McMahon

2014 Local Legends Bill Kurtis and Donna La Pietra

2013 Local Legend Richard Marx


2012 Local Legend John H. Bryan

2011 Local Legend Adrian Smith

2010 Local Legend Captain Jim Lovell