John Cleese Visits LGBT Center as Chicago Prepares for Pride Celebrations

Comedian John Cleese put most of the jokes aside Thursday when he visited the Center on Halsted. He was with the non-profit "Random Acts of Flowers" hoping to spread a message of hope and peace.

"In this time of crisis, where there's so much mindless violence, aggression and hatred, these little acts of kindness begin to reverse the momentum," Cleese said, delivering flowers during his visit.

He also added a message to a memorial banner, which will eventually be sent to Florida on behalf of Chicago's LGBT community.

"When we're seeking hope, to bring flowers, a sign of beauty, a sign of hope, a sign of growth, that's what we need at this time," said the Center's CEO, Modesto Tico Valle.

As a memorial to the Florida victims grows in the heart of Boystown, final preparations are being made for Chicago's upcoming Pride celebrations that are expected to bring hundreds of thousands of people to the city.

"We have adjusted resources and increased security measures so that the focus can remain on what Pride Fest and Pride Parade are all about," said Rich Guidice of the City's Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

Chicago Police increased patrols following the attack in Florida, and they'll increase again this weekend for Pride Fest.

"Visitors can expect to see an increased presence of uniformed Chicago police officers at these events patrolling the 19th district and surrounding neighborhoods and at the CTA transportation hubs," said Superintendent Eddie Johnson.

When the Pride Parade begins next weekend, extra barricades will be in place and private security officers will be on hand. The Chicago Police are also working closely with the FBI to keep everyone safe.

"The safety and security of the people of northern Illinois is our highest priority," said John Brown, acting special agent in charge with the FBI.

The FBI said there are no credible threats to Chicago's Pride celebrations, but officials say it's important to be vigilant. If you see anything suspicious, police urge you to call 911.

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