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CHICAGO PARK DISTRICT RECEIVES $10K

1/20/2021, noon
Christmas in the Wards and Chicago Football Classic each awarded Chicago Park District $5,000 for programs that focus on children ...
LaToyia Huggins, executive director of Christmas in the Wards, talks about the importance of the partnership between Christmas in the Wards and the Chicago Park District. Photo by Tia Carol Jones
 Chicago Park District receives $10K

BY TIA CAROL JONES
     Christmas in the Wards and Chicago Football Classic each awarded Chicago Park District $5,000 for programs that focus on children during an event at Soldier Field.
     Christmas in the Wards is a non-profit organization, founded by Larry
Huggins, CEO of Riteway-Huggins Construction, that provides assistance to underserved families in Chicago.
    Chicago Football Classic was founded by Everett Rand and Huggins as a way to expose young people to Historically Black Colleges and Universities through football games and events.
     LaToyia Huggins, executive director of Christmas in the Wards, said Chicago Park District has helped Christmas in the Wards bring education, laptops, food and other resources to people in communities
on the South and West sides.
    Larry Huggins said Christmas in the Wards was very happy to present Chicago Park District with the $5,000 donation, so
they can provide help to needy families.
     Alonzo Williams, of the Chicago Park District, thanked Christmas in the Wards and Chicago Football Classic for the donations. “This is a great opportunity for the Chicago Park District and all of our programs, both for the young kids that you see running around parks, as well as our teens that you see represented here today. These checks will go a long way to help continue to support families who can’t afford to be
in some of our programs, as well as our teen-based programs that we are really trying to enhance,” he said.
     LaToyia Huggins said Christmas in the Wards presenting two students with laptops was the organization’s way to help with the challenges of remote learning. She said families need all the support they can get. She also spoke about the importance of education technology. “Education technology is really vital, essential and important for children to be able to meet the educational needs and demands to be able to thrive to be able to go on to college and be able to do the things they really want to do with their lives,” she said.
    Rand said that while Christmas and the elections are over, there is no finish line with Chicago Football Classic.
    He said without the support of city of Chicago and sponsors, Chicago Football Classic doesn’t happen. “HBCU’s are down in attendance and we are trying to make sure we bring that back and make sure we keep them on the map,” he said.
    LaToyia Huggins said 8th Ward Alderwoman Michelle A. Harris and 34th Ward Alderwoman Carrie M. Austin have been part of Christmas in the Wards almost from the very beginning.
   “They have helped support thousands of families throughout their communities, but also in communities throughout Chicago to help bring them Christmas, educational resources, food. Each year, these women go and shop for families, and they did it again this year with really
supporting hundreds of families who have really had needs,” she said.
  Harris said that Christmas in the Wards is a worthy organization. And, it is really rewarding for her to participate.
    She presented Quincy James, a resident of the 8th Ward, with a laptop.
   Austin said it has been an honor for her to participate in Christmas in
the Wards and to bring some kind of betterment to her constituents. Austin presented 34th Ward resident Laurun Hall with a laptop.
  “With the support of the Chicago Park District, we have continued to
make 2020 and now 2021 filled with amazing programs to celebrate the families, communities, students and individuals of Chicago. We know that we will continue to have that great relationship with the Chicago Park District and all of its programs,” LaToyia Huggins said.