UI Participants Pack the Stands at TOYOTA PARK

SDC10064.JPGThe Chicago Fire Foundation recently donated 450 tickets to the Wednesday June 22nd Chicago Fire vs. Real Salt Lake game at 7:30pm at TOYOTA PARK to allow us to share the Chicago Fire experience with participants in our health and education soccer program.

 Part of Urban Initiatives’ mission is to take our participants on field trips and cultural outings. For our program participants, the experience of traveling outside of Chicago on a summer night to watch professionals play the sport they love is one that they will never forget. We are so grateful to the Chicago Fire Foundation’s Kicks for Kids program for making this opportunity possible.

In total, 11 buses loaded up with kids and chaperones from 12 schools headed to Bridgeview to cheer on the Chicago Fire. Representatives included Urban Initiatives’ program participants and their families, coaches, office staff, Board Members, and Junior Board Members. One of the highlights for everyone was when Chicago Fire Players Dasan Robinson and Mike Banner visited our section to sign autographs and take photos with the attendees. For most of the kids it was their first time seeing a professional athlete in person.

Our participants were on their feet throughout the game chanting “Go Fire!" Some were even saying our program participants were giving Section 8 a run for their money. When the Fire nearly scored in the second half, off a deflection, there was a chorus of "OOOH’s" that definitely showed how desperate the kids, were to see their team win.

While the game ended in a tie, all of the members of the Urban Initiatives team who attended left TOYOTA PARK feeling like winners. “This is my first ever soccer game,” was a common quote of the night. Most of the kids slept on the bus ride home while some stayed up talking about how they want to go back to Toyota Park and how they would beg their parents all summer to go to another game.

Thank you to the Chicago Fire Foundation for making the evening possible!