DC FRONT RUNNERS

AIDS MEMORIAL QUILT PANELS

The AIDS Quilt is a powerful and profound reminder of the AIDS pandemic, which directly affected 18 of our fellow Front Runners and their friends in the 1980s and 1990s. More than 48,000 panels –commemorating the life of someone who died of AIDS—have been sewn together by friends, partners and family members. Unlike other memorials in our city, the AIDS quilt was truly a grassroots effort, a creation of love by thousands and thousands of people.

 

The Quilt was conceived in 1985 by San Francisco gay rights advocate Cleve Jones. During an annual candlelight march honoring slain San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and gay Supervisor Harvey Milk, he asked his fellow marchers to write on placards the names of friends and loved ones who had died of AIDS. At the end of the march, Jones and others stood on ladders taping these cards to the walls of the San Francisco Federal Building. The wall of names looked like a patchwork quilt.

 

Inspired by this sight, Jones and friends made plans for a larger memorial. Public response to the Quilt was immediate, and people across the country sent panels. In 1987, the Quilt was displayed for the first time on the National Mall during the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay rights.

 

The first appearance of the DC Front Runners panel honoring five lost members was made in 1988, when it was displayed at the Ellipse, in front of the White House. Our quilt was made from old running shorts and t-shirts, with the honored members' names inscribed with shoe laces. A club t-shirt was attached to the quilt. The club also established a Memorial Grove in Rock Creek Park in honor of our lost Front Runners in 1988. A second panel for additional club members lost to AIDS was made in 1996. Our panels now permanently reside with the rest of the AIDS Quilt collection at the NAMES Project in Atlanta.

 

In 2012, the club held an unfolding ceremony when the AIDS Quilt returned to Washington. DC and was displayed on the National Mall.  The first panel was also brought back to commemorate our club's 35th anniversary in 2016 and served as a backdrop to the National Park Service's release of the national Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Heritage Initiative report.

DC Front Runners commemorated on

AIDS Quilt Panels

 

 

In Alphabetical Order

 

 

JOHN BRENNAN 1992

 

VICTOR CARBONE 1986

 

STEVE CLEMENT 1990

 

JOHN CORRIGAN 1995

 

GORDON CURTIS 1990

 

STEVE DOLL 1993

 

TONY FERRERA 1982

 

STEVE HUNT 1986

 

DAVE JETT 1993

 

MIKE KUHLMAN 1984

 

MICHAEL MASTROBATTISTA 1988

 

JAY MUZYCHENKO 1992

 

RON PAUL 1994

 

CHUCK THOMPSON 1996

 

PAUL WEBB 1994

 

JOHN WELCH 1991

 

BRAD WOJCOSKI 1993

 

JIM WROTON 1994