On Wednesday evening, Reavis Work to Play soccer players were invited to hang out with Urban Initiatives’ Junior Board Members for a special preseason Pizza Party. Board Member Neil Hirshman hosted the fun-filled event at the beautiful offices of Kirkland and Ellis LLP. Reavis players entered the new building amazed, their eyes brightly lit. They stepped foot into the party space and quickly found their seats to listen to Coach Tom share the action-packed agenda for the evening. Once the Junior Board Members rolled through the door, the fun was ready to begin!
Urban Initiatives' staff and Board of Directors had a fun-filled pizza party this past week. The team assembled at the Urban Initiatives office to enjoy refreshments, mingle, and talk about the importance of the work we do for Chicago' children. Overall the turnout was great with 11 staff members and 9 Board Members in attendance.
Program Associate Cris Martinez stated, "It was great to meet and see the amazing supporters behind Urban Initiatives. Everyone in our office last night has a passion for service. From serving our players, coaches, schools and families to serving each other on a daily basis. It truly is a family."
Executive Director Jim Dower was thrilled to see so many of his favorite faces in one room. "Sharing conversations over delicious pizza brought our Board and staff closer together as well as strengthened our commitment to Urban Initiatives by facilitating a greater sense of shared values and support for our mission."
Thank you to the Board for being committed. We are lucky to have a Board that is engaged on so many levels. Special thanks to Steve Cole for sponsoring the event. We look forward to hosting many more events like this in the future.
More than 750 guests attended Urban Initiatives’ sixth annual Soccer Ball fundraiser on January 27th at Chicago’s River East Art Center. It was an enchanted evening of mingling for many Chicago professionals, young and old alike, who were swaying to the cool sounds of DJ Duncan and devouring the innovative culinary concoctions and specialty cocktails of J&L Catering. Additional delectable treats flowed thanks to event sponsors Goose Island, Beam, Storck and Cabot. The event broke the Urban Initiatives' previous records for attendance and corporate/private sponsorships, and raised more than $250,000 for its health and education soccer programs.
“What is y’all thinking? Why are you doing that? You need to pick that up and do your homework,” the coach snapped. The offenders did their best to look ashamed, each beginning to pick up the crumpled pieces of paper on the ground.
“Hold on, I can handle this,” said another coach. “You guys know what the soccer team is about. You need to do well in school and eat healthy. You know that.” Pointing to a completely shredded assignment, “you probably need a new one,” the coach finished.
The action abruptly stopped, and the circle of kids and adults burst into laughs, cheers and applause. This role play activity capped off Urban Initiatives’ first celebration for our 5th-8th grade players, now officially called mentor-coaches.
At the end of every Work to Play Program season, Urban Initiatives holds team parties to reward participants for their hard work and commitment. This is a video from Reavis Elementary's party. Look at those million dollar smiles! The kids are so proud of all their hard work!
Program participants at Libby celebrated the end of their winter season with a party on March 29th. At the event, the kids also completed their service learning project. For two and a half weeks the participants collected as much canned food as possible for the Salvation Army Emergency Disaster services.
This project was selected at Libby to help victims of the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand and the tsunami and earthquake in Japan. During the collection process, the kids learned about what has been going on in the world around them as well as how they can contribute on a global scale.
For the celebration, the team had the honor of having two Blue Island Salvation Army members - Envoy Polanco and Ada Lettelier - attend the celebration to receive the canned food.
Polanco spoke about the importance of giving and how, "the people with the least usually give the most."
Polanco also asked the participants how they felt after they gave and Tyreuan Williams a 2nd grader emphatically said, "I feel Good!"
It was great to see the participants celebrate after a tough winter season. Thank you to Envoy Polanco and Ada Letellier for coming to Libby to pick up the canned food. We hope to do this again next year!
Urban Initiatives' fall season was a tremendous success - thanks to the hard work of our coaches, teachers, parents, and most of all the program participants! At the culmination of each season, Urban Initiatives hosts parties at each of our school sites to celebrate these stakeholders' accomplishments.
At the events, attendees enjoy Subway sandwiches and the kids receive medals, certificates of achievement, and goodie bags. This year, thanks to the generosity of the Chicago Fire, Urban Initiatives is able to award the children with perfect or nearly perfect program attendance with a Chicago Fire soccer ball to practice during the off season. The students that received this recognition were thrilled and many who did not receive a ball yet said they were committed to attending all program sessions next season.
When: Friday, January 29th, 2010 from 7 to 11pm
Where: Salvage One, 1840 W Hubbard St., Chicago
Enjoy cocktails, appetizers, desserts, dancing and auction. A great party for a terrific cause!
Tickets at $100 in advance or $110 at the door. Buy your tickets now!
Your support is invaluable. Urban Initiatives' programs are free to our participants. Programs are underwritten entirely from funds raised at The Soccer Ball and through private donations.
Urban Initiatives will once again host our annual fundraiser, 'The Soccer Ball," at Salvage One located at 1840 West Hubbard St, Chicago IL, 60622 between Ashland and Damen Avenues, just one block south of Grand Ave. The party will run from 7pm. to 11pm. and tickets are $100 in advance and $110 at the door. Tickets will be available starting in December.
Sign up now to become an event sponsor and take advantage of all the great opportunities associated with event sponsorship! Please e-mail soccerball@urbaninitiatives.
The Farm Party Fundraiser raises money for and awareness about the Urban Initiatives health and education soccer program while also having a great time! The event is held in a lovely rural setting by a pond, roughly 35 miles outside of Chicago. Guests enjoy music, dancing, drink, barbeque, games and swimming. There is also camping on-site so feel free to bring your tent and spend the night!
Join for the First Annual Urban Initiatives Bowling Fundraiser on May 16th 2009! The events is $40/person and includes bowling, draft beer, and snacks. The outing takes place Saturday, May 16 2009 starting at 2pm and goes until 5pm. We will be bowling at Timber Lanes which is located at 1851 W. Irving Park Road.
This year Urban Initiatives will be hosting its annual fundraiser, 'The Soccer Ball," at Salvage One located at 1840 West Hubbard St, Chicago IL, 60622 between Ashland and Damen Avenues, just one block south of Grand Ave. The party will run from 7pm. to 11pm. and tickets are $90 in advance and $100 at the door.
The Halloween Bash is the longest running Urban Initiatives fundraising event. We would love for you to join us at Ohm Nightclub to support our program as well as have a lot of fun. Get there early because we're expecting a full house!