By Andrea Smith
“We are ALL IN!” That declaration of a new partnership between the National Pan-Hellenic Council of Chicago and the Chicago Football Classic has the unfulfilled destinies of thousands of students in the Chicago area in their sights. “We have often heard the quote, ‘if not now, when; if not you, who,” says NPHC Chicago President, Joel A. Head and member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. “That quote is a way of life for many of the members of the NPHC Chicago organizations.”
What is the National Pan-Hellenic Council – Chicago? “The NPHC Chicago is the Chicago/Northwest Indiana chapter of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, a collaborative organization of the nine major Black Greek Lettered Fraternities and Sororities with chapters in Chicago. It is a graduate council and is the largest in the country, with representatives from over 40 area chapters of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.
The Pan-Hellenic council represents about 10,000 active and financial members of Black Greek Letter Organizations. For years, as separate organizations we have participated in Chicago Football Classic events because it is such an important event to Chicago and to our organizations. This year, we are uniting as the National Pan-Hellenic Council of Chicago, as the next step of leadership for the children in our communities,” President Head says.
The 19th Annual Chicago Football Classic, presented by Sherman Dodge Chrysler Jeep of Skokie and BMO Harris Bank, is bringing first-time participant Clark Atlanta University Panthers and the Central State University Marauders to battle at historic Soldier Field, Saturday, September 10 at 3:30 p.m. The mission of the Chicago Football Classic is to help students achieve their athletic and academic dreams by providing scholarships for students to attend HBCU’s. The NPHC Chicago remains committed to its mission of being “United to Make a Difference.”
“Let’s be real about it. When our kids think about HBCU’s, they think two things, Homecoming and Greek- life. And when it comes to Greek Life, it’s stepping, strolling, representing your colors on the yard; and that’s where it stops. But there is one thing that all of the Divine-9 have in common, in order to be a member of one of our organizations, you must either be currently enrolled in a college or university or a graduate of a college or university. Once a member, yes you gain ‘Brothers’ and ‘Sisters,’ and then you and your new ‘family’ commit to life-long Community Service. That
is why we, the Chicago Pan-Hell Council are joining forces with the Chicago Football Classic this year, to emphasize that college becomes the goal for our children,” says Renee Byrd, Networking Social Chair and member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
Parliamentarian of the NPHC Chicago, Reggie Summerrise and member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. offers, “It is time such as these that leaders rise, and lead. Too many of our children are hopeless, and live a life of limitations based on their perceived circumstances. All of the members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council of Chicago have endured the challenges of college successfully, and few of us thought we could. Just as the process of becoming a member of a Fraternity or Sorority appears to be an impossible task, so does graduating from college. That is why we are partnering with the Chicago Football Classic this year, we must let the children from our communities know that college is not fiction, but an achievable fact of their lives.”
“Yes, we want to fill the seats of Soldier Field. We also want to fill the classrooms of colleges and universities across the country with students from Chicago. Tim [Rand], Everett [Rand] and I have all become successful businessmen here in Chicago. We could not make our dreams come true without help and support from others. As Co-Founders of the Chicago Football Classic, we want to give back and help the next generation of entrepreneurs. With the help of the National Pan-Hellenic Council of Chicago, I know we will achieve that goal,” Larry Huggins, Chicago Football Classic Co-Founder.
The public is encouraged not to miss this one by locking in the date, Saturday, September 10th in your smartphones, send a selfie, program a reminder, do whatever it takes to mark your calendars and be there! For more information on the Chicago Football Classic call 773-874-8000, x.4024 or 773-734-1600. Go to www.chicagofootballclassic.biz/ Like Us “Chicago Football Classic” on FaceBook and follow us on Twitter: @CHIFTBLCLASS.