By Chinta Strausberg, Chicago Crusader
It’s that time of year again to not only support Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s), which graduate more African American students than any other institutions in the nation, but to do so proudly while enjoying the Chicago Football Classic.
This year’s Chicago Football Classic will be held on Saturday, September 10, 2016, at Soldier Field between Central State University Marauders vs. Clark Atlanta University Panthers with 3:30 p.m. as the kick-off time, according to Donna Hodge, executive director of the Chicago Football Classic.
“This is our 19th annual Football Classic…,” said Hodge. “We are very proud to be doing this. What has grown is our empowerment summit during our college fair. It is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank and Sherman Dodge…. Education equals empowerment and that means success.”
The founders of this historic game are Tim Rand, Everett Rand and Larry Huggins. Hodge said initially William Garth, owner of the Citizen Newspaper, was once a member but the Rand brothers and Huggins, all of whom are very successful businessmen, now run it.
“This is something that our youth and city need,” said Hodge likening the Chicago Football Classic to a big family reunion. “It has been a successful event across the state. People come from all over.”
But, it is more than just a football game, Hodge said. Student registration will be held at 9:30 a.m. There will be a college fair from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, including 30 different schools and are prepared to give away scholarships. Hodge urged the students to register and to bring their transcripts with them.
Over the past 19 years, students have received more than $2 million from the Chicago Football Classic fund.
There will also be a vendor marketplace, the Battle of the High School Bands and the Battle of the College Bands during halftime. A car will be given away as well. Hodge said a celebrity will make an appearance but she refused to say who that person is.
Prior to September 10th kick-off game, Hodge said there are several social events that lead up to the game like the president’s reception at the South Shore Cultural Center on Thursday, September 8th, a golf outing at the Flossmoor Country Club on Friday, September 9th with an 8 a.m. registration and 9 a.m. shotgun start. She said a pep rally is also being prepared.
“We want everyone to enjoy the spirit of going to a HBCU which is what its all about,” said Hodge.
The doors open at 1:30 p.m. with the kick-off time being at 3:30 p.m. For more information go to chicagofootballclassic.biz.
Tickets are $17, $25, $35 and $45. You can get them by calling Midway Wholesalers at 773.734.1600 or Riteway Huggins Construction at 773-874-8000 Ext. 4024.