The contribution, which was announced last fall in honor of longtime youth advocates Mayor Richard M. Daley and Maggie Daley, will be equally shared among the following five local organizations to expand after school programming for 4,000 Chicago area youth: ChicagoRun, Parkways Foundation, Girls on the Run, MGR Foundation and Special Children’s Charities/Special Olympics Chicago. The financial support will also help each organization to purchase equipment, enhance coaching, and stage events and competitions to help foster the physical and emotional well-being of Chicago’s youth.
"Family interest continues to increase for the demand of additional after school programs that directly assist in the cognitive and physical development of our youth and future leaders," said Tim Maloney, Bank of America Illinois Market President. "Through the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle and Bank of America Chicago Marathon, we are in the unique position to help the nonprofit community advance the cause of education and physical fitness for Chicago’s young people."
The $ 500,000 contribution is part of Bank of America’s Chicago Youth Fitness Initiative (CYFI), a program designed to help introduce more kids to healthy and more productive lifestyles through after school programming. In its second year, CYFI is funded through registration fees from the Shamrock Shuffle 8K and Chicago Marathon, with additional grant funding from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. In addition to its funding, Bank of America has pledged leadership support and volunteerism to these organizations throughout the year.
Specifically, Bank of America’s support will help each recipient organization expand the reach and impact of their after school programs in the following ways:
* Chicago Run will add 2,000 children to its "Chicago Runners" program which teaches elementary school children about the importance of healthy living at a young age. The free running program supports children in 29 different neighborhoods and delivers curriculum designed to fight against childhood obesity, sedentary lifestyles and poor nutrition. chicagorun.org
* Parkways Foundation will support the Chicago Park District’s after school wellness programs in six different neighborhoods, engaging more than 650 children and their families in daily physical activity and allowing for collaboration with the Greater Chicago Food Depository to provide healthy meals and cooking demonstrations to families in need. parkways.org
* Girls on the Run will welcome more than 600 new members at an additional 38 locations for newly-implemented 12-week after-school curriculum. In addition, financial scholarships will be awarded to participants whose family may not be able to afford the program. gotrchicago.org
* MGR Foundation will expand by 200 students from seven Chicago public high schools and will add 100 new adult mentors. mgrf.org
* SCC/Special Olympics Chicago will provide increased transportation to local initiatives, enabling 500 new athletes to join the program. Camps will also now include gymnastics, tennis and karate instruction. sochicago.org
"Bank of America’s support allows us to get more kids on a path to a more active and healthy lifestyle including eating healthier and incorporating exercise into their weekly routines," said Alicia Gonzalez, ChicagoRun’s executive director. "The Chicago non-profit sector continues to feel the impact of a slow economic recovery, and it’s encouraging to see the bank’s ongoing commitment to helping organizations like ours accomplish our mission."
The Chicago Youth Fitness Initiative continues Bank of America’s longtime support of after school programming in Chicago. Among other programs the bank supports: After School Matters, Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago, By the Hand Club for Kids, Chicago Training Center, Chicago Youth Centers and 826CHI, Inc and Midtown Educational Foundation.