Portia Lynne Van Buren (Gary Lindley) was born in Anderson, Indiana on January 11, 1962. She died of cancer on November 9, 2009. Portia was truly a legend in the Indianapolis and throughout the Midwest as a performer and entertainer. She was loud, fun and always had a positive attitude. She was always willing to be part of a show or an event to raise money to give back to the community. She was always willing to help her fellow performers and to mentor to those just getting started. One of her drag daughters stated, “The most important lessons I learned from you – always remain calm, do your best and always be you.” The last part sums up Portia best: She was always Portia – always out there but always Portia!

In honor of contributions to the Indianapolis community and her outrageous no apologizes attitude, the Bag Ladies honor Portia Lynne Van Buren by presenting the Portia Lynne Van Buren Award to an individual who rides the Bag Lady Bus and most closely embodies Portia’s attitude toward her life, her sense of caring and giving and her philosophy of life. Listed below are previous winners:

2009
Matt Gordon
2010
Greg Fisher
2011
Chad Gilzean
2012
Rob Hoaglin