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Chicago Mayor Lends Support to Chicago Football Classic

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined Chicago Football Classic Inc. co-founders.

Lee Edwards | 9/17/2014, 1:09 p.m.
On Sept.10, at Chicago's City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St., Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined Chicago Football Classic Inc. co-founders, ...
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (right) stands with Chicago Football Classic (CFC) co-founders, Larry Huggins and Everett Rand (far left), during a press conference about the upcoming 17th Annual Chicago Football Classic (CFC) to be held at Soldier Field, 1410 Museum Campus Dr., on Sept. 20, 2014 and will feature a standoff between Morehouse College from Atlanta, Ga. and Central State University from Wilberforce, Ohio.

On Sept.10, at Chicago's City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St., Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined Chicago Football Classic Inc. co-founders, Everett Rand and Larry Huggins, for a press conference where he lent his support for the 17th Annual Chicago Football Classic (CFC) game which showcases the football teams and marching bands of two top historically black colleges or universities (HBCUs).

The event will be held at Soldier Field, 1410 Museum Campus Dr., on Sept. 20, 2014 and will feature a standoff between Morehouse College from Atlanta, Ga. and Central State University from Wilberforce, Ohio.

“The [Chicago Football] Classic is a great tradition that gets the family together,” said Mayor Emanuel.

The Chicago Football Classic, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to inspire African-American high school and college students to achieve educational excellence, according to the group's website. CFC officials say their event influences students and parents to consider the rich academic and cultural opportunities offered by Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

While acknowledging the football, festivities, and fun surrounding the CFC, Rand emphasized the importance education and added that the CFC should be a “premiere event” for all Chicagoans.

“It’s very important that education is at the forefront of everyone’s mind,” Rand said.

When asked by the Chicago Citizen Newspaper how the CFC will impact the city's economy, Rand said that he estimated about five million dollars of revenue in tourism and local spending would be generated.

Mayor Emanuel added that while it is significant that tourism related revenue is generated by the CFC; the true benefit is that students are receiving funding for their education.

According to Rand and Huggins, raising revenue to assist youth fund a college education is their primary goal.

"The proceeds from this game goes toward college scholarships [and] our hope is that we can raise anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000," said Huggins. Huggins also stated he would like to see 50,000 attendees at this year’s Classic and suggested that youth who were present for the game and events may be inspired to attend a HBCU themselves.

To assist with fund raising, Sherman Dodge of Skokie, Ill.,, co-title sponsor for the CFC, will raffle off a 2014 Dodge Challenge SXT, the official car of the CFC. Ron Collins, Marketing Manager with Sherman Dodge, told the Chicago Citizen Newspaper that Sherman Dodge is expecting to raise $125,000 to $150,000 via the raffle.

“This is about education; the idea today is to make sure that the Classic, through its promotion of the HBCU experience, to give our kids an idea of what college life is all about and create the mindset wherein college education is not a dream but ultimately a destination,” said Collins.

BMO Harris, a fellow co-title sponsor for the CFC, will provide a financial literacy workshop for prospective students and their parents as part of the CFC’s Empowerment Summit and College Fair festivities prior to the game’s kick-off.

“Education is one of the pillars of work that we fund to in the community,” said Corliss Garner, Vice President in Community Affairs with BMO Harris Bank. “We understand that education is critically important to keeping the city going in terms of talent, to be able to work for corporations in Chicago, and to really help our communities thrive.”

For more information visit http://www.chicagofootballclassic.biz./.