Triple partnership provides ongoing support for South Side programs

LATOYIA HUGGINS ANNOUNCES the $100K donation by Sherman Dodge in partnership with Chicago Football Classic (CFC) & Christmas in the Wards on April 22, 2021 at the Sherman Dodge dealership in Skokie, Illinois. The funds will support 13 non-profit organizations throughout Chicago in the relief efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pictured during the press conference, l-r, are Alderman Emma Mitts; Christmas in the Wards Executive Director Latoyia Huggins; Jeff Issac; Alderman Michelle Harris, Alderman Pat Dowell, Sam Toia, Illinois Restaurant Association; Alderman Carrie Austin, True to Life Foundation CEO Gloria Batey; and Chicago Football Classic Co-Founder Larry Huggins. (Photo courtesy of Chicago Football Classic)

By Joseph G. Phillips, Chicago Crusader Sports Editor

Sherman Dodge donates $100K in partnership with Chicago Football Classic, Christmas in the Wards to Chicago communities

The Chicago Football Classic and Christmas in the Wards partnered with Sherman Dodge, 7601 Skokie Blvd., which donated $100,000 to several area non-profits on Thursday, April, 22, in Skokie, Illinois.

The CFC group received the generous $100,000 donation from Sherman Dodge, allowing funding of 13 non-profit organizations throughout the Chicagoland area.

The event was designed for just that reason, to support non-profits serving both Chicagoland communities and families.

“Because of our long-standing relationship, Sherman Dodge asked CFC to identify community organizations they could support with the $100,000 donation,” said Larry Huggins of the CFC and Christmas in the Wards, in a statement. “We strive to support a diverse group of organizations, which provide needed resources through their initiatives.”

“For nearly 25 years, the Chicago Football Classic (CFC) was held at Soldier Field in September,” said the CFC in a statement.

“The pandemic halted last year’s game and again, there is no game this year. For the past 10 years, Sherman Dodge has been a major sponsor supporting the CFC with a donation of a vehicle to raffle.

“Although there will not be a game this year, Christmas in the Wards, Chicago Football Classic and Sherman Dodge are committed to continuing their work in the community through financial support of deserving organizations that serve various segments of our society.”

“Giving is not just about making a donation,” said Reggie Steele, sales manager at Sherman Dodge. “It’s about making a difference.”

Steele explained that “for the past 10 years, Sherman Dodge has partnered with the Chicago Football Classic to support education within our communities. We started with the donation of a vehicle to raffle. After learning more about the game, the scholarship program, and the organization as a whole…we’ve increased the donation year over year.”

Noting that Sherman Dodge was fully aware that “although there is no game this year, there is still a need,” Steele went on to say, “we are grateful to Larry Huggins, and Everett and Tim Rand for allowing us the opportunity to help these worthy organizations.”

According to the CFC, two deserving organizations each received $22,500 on Thursday, the Black Men United organization and the New Spiritual Light Youth Development organization.

In addition to the two organizations each receiving a $22,500 donation, 11 additional organizations each received a $5,000 donation.

Those 11 included the Boy Scouts of America, the Illinois Restaurant Association, the Roseland Youth Center, Matthew House, Hood 2 Hire (H2H), the True to Life Foundation, the Westside Cultural Foundation, the Chicago Community Alliance, the Southside Community Art Center, the Arthur Lockhart Resource Institute and the We Women Empowered Inc., of Chicago.

The donations were provided to help continue the work in communities where initiatives are geared toward Youth Focused Activities, Arts, Education, and Job Training and Placement.

“I am truly blessed, honored and privileged by the generosity of Dave Dickens, Sherman Dodge, as well as Larry Huggins, and Everett and Tim Rand of Chicago Football Classic and Christmas in the Wards,” remarked Reverend Walter Turner, pastor of New Spiritual Light Missionary Baptist Church, recipient of a major award.

“My relationship with Dave goes back over 20 years. I have seen Dave do some awesome things within the community for so many years including coat drives, Christmas toy giveaways and supporting church golf outings. The community has truly benefited from the benevolence of this brother, and he sincerely has the community at heart. This generous donation will ensure the children of South Shore will have a great summer!”

Reverend John Harrell, president of Black Men United, commented upon receiving the other large monetary award, “We are so grateful for Larry Huggins, the Rand Brothers of Christmas in the Wards and the Chicago Football Classic for their partnership with Dave Dickens of Sherman Dodge as they come together…as they often do…just to give back to those who are in need…where it helps us to continue to be a BLESSING to the communities and people who make us all who we are.”

Each year, Christmas in the Wards serves Chicago’s underserved families and children through giving the gift of Christmas. What began as grassroots fundraising has developed into a 501c3 non-profit organization supported by individuals, local businesses, and Fortune 500 companies

Their partner, the Chicago Football Classic, Inc., (CFC) is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to inspire African American high school and college students through support for programs, initiatives, and events that increase awareness of opportunities to achieve educational excellence.

“The Chicago Football Classic is founded on the principle of valuing the rich experience offered by our Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” noted the CFC. “Since its conception in 1997, the Chicago Football Classic Scholarship Fund, Inc., has awarded over one million dollars in scholarships.”

For more information on the Chicago Football Classic and Christmas in the Wards, visit chicagofootballclassic .org.

Joseph Phillips is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 15 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago. He can be reached at

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