With all the violence going on in the city of Chicago, if you have never been there or lived there, you would think it was like a scene out of Menace II Society, but there is still some compassion and soul left in the windy city as proven by the generosity of many to help out others in need.
With two major gifts of $10,000 each and hundreds from $5 on up, South Shore Drill Team exceeded its goal of $45,000 to take the group to the Presidential Inaugural Parade on January 21. The additional funds will allow team members to experience more of Washington, DC while there.
“I’m elated and extremely grateful,” says Arthur Robertson, founder and director of the team. “Our young people worked hard for this, and we’re on our way!”
Since learning on December 18, 2012 that the group was one of the first 24 chosen from among 2,800 applications, the team appealed to the community for $45,000 to cover transportation, lodging, and meals. Chicago media outlets interviewed team members and let the public know they needed help.
On Monday, January 7, Walgreens announced they were contributing $10,000 to the team, and on January 14, Timothy Rand of Chicago Football Classic offered $10,000 towards the effort. Those gifts combined with online contributions and mailed-in checks, and a $2,500 gift from cell phone provider PTEL brought the total to $41,000.
On hearing the team was just short of its goal, both Buddy Guy and Com Ed offered $4,000.
Gifts have come from the Northside, Westside, Southside, and the suburbs. People from all walks of life and all ethnic backgrounds sent in contributions, making it an all-Chicago effort. Many included congratulatory notes thanking team members for making Chicago proud.
A celebratory send-off will be held on Friday, January 18 from 4-6 pm at the Comer Center. People can sign a banner and wish team members well. Departure to DC is scheduled for 11 pm, and the group will arrive in the Capitol around 2 pm Saturday. They will perform at the Youth Inaugural Ball on Sunday and march in the parade Monday, January 21 at 2 pm CST.
Those interested in learning more can visit the website, www.southshoredrillteam.org. For more information or to interview team members, call (773) 752-7830.
South Shore Drill Team & Performing Arts Ensemble
7218 S. South Chicago Ave. * Chicago, IL 60619 * (773) 752-7830 * www.southshoredrillteam.org
South Shore Drill Team & Performing Arts Ensemble is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit; contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.