Blackhawk Charities Grants In Excess Of $1.5 Million
|Chicago Blackhawk Charities (CBC), a fund of the McCormick Tribune Foundation, is proud to announce the grantees for the 2006 and 2007 grant cycles. During these two grant cycles, CBC has granted over $1.5 million to local agencies that support underprivileged and abused children, to assist individuals suffering from physical disabilities and to promote the development of health and fitness through youth hockey.
Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois, Inc.
Since its inception in 1993, Chicago Blackhawk Charities has granted over $7 million to organizations that support youth programs, health programs, and are located primarily in the Near West Side Chicago neighborhoods.
Two of the largest beneficiaries of Chicago Blackhawk Charities are the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois (AHAI) and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC).
Since 1995, Chicago Blackhawk Charities has granted over $1.7 million to AHAI. These funds go to support such programs as the Disability Program that includes the Tomahawks special needs hockey team and the Hornets sled hockey team.
“The entire Chicago Blackhawks organization, including their fund-raising arm — Chicago Blackhawk Charities — should be highly commended for being number one by a very wide margin of all of the major professional sports organizations (which includes baseball, football, basketball and hockey) in the United States in providing both financial and administrative assistance to their youth counterpart in their respective sport.
"Due to the commitment and dedication of the Chicago Blackhawks, amateur hockey in Illinois has been able to provide programming and services for our youth here in Illinois including Special Hockey for developmentally disabled youngsters, Sled Hockey for physically disabled kids, Diversity Hockey for economically disadvantaged kids and Hard of Hearing Hockey for those youngsters with hearing deficiencies.
"The Chicago Blackhawks represent, through its unwavering commitment, everything which is both beneficial and positive when the professional side of sports partners with the amateur side of the sport.
"We can not thank them enough for all they have done over the past two decades to help thousands of kids lead better and more fulfilling lives."
CBC has also been a large supporter of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. To date, CBC has granted over $1 million dollars to RIC to be used in particular for the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Sports Program. Created in 1982 by a donation from the family of Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz, the Sports Program has grown to currently offer 12 different sports and recreational activities including the RIC Blackhawks Sled Hockey Team that was established in 1999.
“The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) is very grateful for the generous support that the Chicago Blackhawk Charities has provided to the disabled sports program,” said Mitch Carr, Director of the RIC Wirtz Disability Sports Program. “Since 1993, Blackhawk Charities funding has helped provide sports and recreation to those with physical disabilities in the Chicagoland area. Today, the Wirtz sports program is one of the largest disabled sports programs in the United States. With over three thousand registered members, the program offers twelve different competitive and recreational sports for adults, a full service fitness center and the Caring for Kids Program with programs specifically designed for children with disabilities aged 7-17,” added Carr.
“From providing training for Paralympic athletes to helping individuals realize that they can still participate in physical activity after a serious injury, this program makes a positive physical, psychological and social impact on the lives of individuals with disabilities. All sports and children’s programs are free of charge, and without the philanthropic support of community partners like Blackhawk Charities, these programs would not be possible.”
Throughout the season, CBC holds several fundraisers including the Four Feathers Golf Invitational, ‘Big Time Fun’ with the Blackhawks at Dave & Busters, the All Star Silent Auction and 50/50 Raffle both held at every home game, and various merchandise sale fundraisers including the ever popular Puck Surprise promotion.