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United Negro College Fund salutes Chicago Football Classic Founders

The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) will salute the co-founders of the Chicago Football Classic – Larry Huggins and brothers Timothy J. Rand and Everett Rand – at the 2017 UNCF “A Mind Is…” Gala – Chicago. The event will be held Saturday, June 17, at 6 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency, 151 E. Wacker Drive.

“The Chicago Football Classic is an institution in our community and, now, in its 20th year, we want to celebrate the co-founders, each of whom is accomplished in his own right, as our “A Mind Is…” Gala Community Award honorees,” said Lisa Rollins, UNCF regional director, Workplace Initiatives.

Larry Huggins is president and CEO of Riteway-Huggins Construction Services. Timothy J. Rand is president and CEO of MAC One, a restaurant group. Everett Rand is owner of Midway Wholesalers, a liquor distributor.

Together, they founded the weekend slate of cultural, educational and sporting activities that has become known as the Chicago Football Classic, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

The mission of the Classic event is to inspire African Americans to consider academic and cultural opportunities offered by Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The weekend includes scholarship opportunities, a college fair and empowerment summit in addition to the head-to-head competition between two HBCU football teams and the ever-popular Battle of the Bands.

Each year the UNCF “A Mind Is…” Gala brings together corporate, civic, nonprofit and community leaders and influencers to raise funds for deserving disadvantaged students to attend college.

The program includes recognition of extraordinary individuals and organizations that support the work of UNCF. This year, Commonwealth Edison will receive the Corporate Award.

Shayne Evans, founding managing partner, The Academy Group, and D’Rita Robinson, civic leader and entrepreneur, also will receive honors.

Award-winning sculptor, painter, and multi-media artist Debra Hand will create the honorees’ awards.

Internationally-renowned drummer, percussionist, singer, songwriter, author, humanitarian and actress Sheila E will provide the evening’s entertainment.

Tom Ricketts, executive chairman of the World Champion Chicago Cubs, is gala chairman of the 2017 UNCF “A Mind Is…” Gala – Chicago. The Chicago Cubs organization is the Presenting Sponsor of the event.

The “A Mind Is…” Gala gets its name from the decades-old UNCF slogan, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”

Gala donors and partners include BMO Harris Bank, ITW, US Bank, ComEd, Allstate, NBC5 Chicago, WinTrust, AT&T, InTren, GCM Grosvenor, Chase, Boeing, Chicago Defender, Nicor Gas, Northwestern Kellogg School of Business, JB Pritzker, American Airlines, Aldridge Electric, Mary Hines, Peoples Gas, iHeartMedia Chicago, Aramark, KPMG and Coaxum Family Restaurants.

For tickets and information, visit For sponsorships, call 312-845-2200.


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