CHICAGO – In the spirit of the holidays, the Chicago Cubs have provided a season of giving for the Chicagoland community. The team and its associates have been out in the community spreading holiday cheer and giving back to children and families across Chicago.
The Cubs’ holiday efforts include:
Chicago Cubs Holiday Tree
On December 3, the Chicago Cubs and the Ricketts family hosted the first-ever tree lighting ceremony at the Friendly Confines. A 30-foot Concolor Fir tree is now on display at the corner of Clark and Addison. In an effort to promote environmental sustainability, the tree is adorned with energy-efficient lights and has a root ball at the base, so it can be replanted at the end of the holiday season. The tree has been embraced by the Lakeview community, as several neighborhood groups donated ornaments and students at Inter-American and Greeley Elementary Schools made baseball-shaped ornaments for the tree. Special guests at the tree lighting ceremony included Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, pitcher Matt Garza, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, 12th District State Representative Sara Feigenholtz, 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney, 10th District Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer and Chicago Park District Chief Executive Officer Mike Kelly. The tree was generously donated by Patch Landscaping and Snow Removal. The Ravinia Lawndale Music Conservatory performed at the ceremony.
The Rink at Wrigley
The tree ceremony was part of The Rink at Wrigley grand opening. This is the third consecutive year for the ice skating rink, which has been a very popular attraction in the Lakeview community during the winter. Following the tree ceremony, attendees were treated to free skating, hot chocolate and cookies compliments of the Chicago Cubs, Levy Restaurants and Westrec Marinas. The Rink at Wrigley is sponsored by the Ricketts family, Chicago Park District, Westrec Marinas and Patch Landscaping and Snow Removal. The Rink will be open through February 26, 2012. For more information, visit www.rinkatwrigley.com.
23rd District Town Hall Police Station Holiday Party
On December 3, Cubs associates volunteered at a holiday party to provide holiday cheer to some of Chicago's neediest children at the 23rd District Town Hall Police Station. Santa dropped by for a surprise visit and the children received holiday gifts, as well as hats and mittens and delicious holiday snacks. The party was hosted by the 23rd district police station.
South Side Toy Donation
The Cubs teamed up with Santa Claus to deliver Christmas toys for children on Chicago’s South Side. Chicago Cubs Charities donated $10,000 to help purchase gifts for hundreds of less fortunate families. Chairman Tom Ricketts, Board Member Laura Ricketts and outfielder Marlon Byrd joined Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and several other elected officials for a toy giveaway at A. Finkl & Sons Steel on December 17. The Cubs also participated in the 16th Annual Christmas in Englewood Toy Giveaway with Alderman Latasha Thomas.
Goethe School Book Program
The Cubs have adopted the 7th and 8th grade classes at Goethe School in Logan Square for Operation Santa. Cubs associates have provided more than 150 books from a holiday wish list sent by Goethe students. The books were gift wrapped and delivered to their classrooms.
Chicago Chargers Youth Football Donation
The Cubs donated $2,5000 to the Chicago Chargers youth football team to help send them to their National Youth Championship Game in New Orleans this month. This trip was the first opportunity for many of these youth to leave the city limits of Chicago.
23rd Chicago District Thanksgiving Meal
On November 17, Cubs associates joined the 23rd Chicago Police District to serve hot Thanksgiving meals to 200 senior citizens in the Lakeview community. The group shared turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and desserts. This dinner was the only meal to celebrate the holiday for many of these seniors.
The National Runaway Switchboard Thanksgiving Meal
The National Runaway Switchboard and the Chicago Cubs partnered for the sixth consecutive year to serve a Thanksgiving meal to runaway and homeless children. St. Luke Church on West Belmont Avenue hosted the event, with more than 100 youth benefitting from the meal.
Chicago Cubs Players Visit Arizona Hospitals
Chicago Cubs players participated in two local events in Mesa, Arizona, benefitting deaf and sick children. On November 16, Chicago Cubs players visited Sequoia School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to run a free baseball clinic. Players also visited sick children at Cardon Children’s Medical Center to spread Thanksgiving cheer.