The Crusader Newspaper Group

Salute to Ernie Jenkins

On Sunday afternoon, July 30, 2017, WACA (The Westside Association For Community Action) and The Chicago Rat Pack will present a “Sunday Soiree” honoring the life and legacy of one of Chicago’s most beloved figures, Ernest (Ernie) Jenkins, a co-founder of The Rat Pack. This event is also slated to honor the original founding members of The Rat Pack. This affair will be hosted by NBC’s Art Norman and held at The Hyatt Regency-Chicago.

Ernie, as he is affectionately known, began making his mark on the lives of the citizens of Chicago when he joined the staff of the YMCA of Metropolitan in November 1971 with a Masters degree in Social Work and a background of fifteen years experience in street dynamics, program planning and community organizing. Ernie, who has received many awards and recognitions for his dedication to helping the communities at large, served as executive director for three YMCA centers (Urban Programs West YMCA, South Side YMCA and Austin YMCA), and also served as Vice President for Community Development for the Metropolitan YMCA. While considered an expert on enabling and organizing community groups, Ernie’s major emphasis was focused on establishing principles for self-help purposes. One of Ernie’s outstanding accomplishments is the establishment of The Westside Association for Community Action (WACA), which he organized and founded in 1971 and currently serves as its CEO.

The Rat Pack was founded in Chicago in 1984. Today’s Chicago chapter of the Rat Pack draws members from a cross section of Chicago and suburban communities. The membership reflects a variety of occupations, which includes doctors, lawyers, educators, police officials, congressmen, state senators, and businessmen. The purpose of this social club is to provide philanthropic assistance and service to non-profits, and national and international community organizations which provide various support services to their communities.  Scholarships are awarded annually through the Charles E. Curry Foundation and given to African American male students.

WACA (The Westside Association For Community Action) is a community-based, social service agency that has provided a wide range of critical services to residents within the North Lawndale, Austin, Brighton Park and Garfield communities for over 40 years. Founded in 1971, and located on Chicago’s Westside, their mission has been to identify and alleviate problems that contribute to the disintegration of its communal fabric. Within their multi-service community based network, they work diligently to increase the strength of family ties, while maintaining and developing important bi-partisan relationships. This is done while expanding their local, state, and national networks of community based providers committed to working with at-risk youth by offering positive alternatives to negligent life-style.

For Ticket Info:

The Hyatt Regency-Chicago, 151 East Wacker Drive – 2pm-7pm – Sunday, July 30th.

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