2017 National Night Out

2017 National Night Out

Glen Lerner Injury Attorneys celebrated this year’s National Night Out with our friends at the Chicago Police Department’s District 009.  National Night Out (NNO) is an annual celebration that takes place on the first Tuesday of August in communities across the country.  This event seeks to promote peace and partnerships between the police and the local community. District 009’s event was hosted at McKinley Park in the back of the yards neighborhood.  The event included live music, diverse food vendors, kid’s activities, and raffles. Community organizations were also in attendance to educate the public regarding programs and initiatives currently being offered in their local neighborhoods.

Our Chicago injury attorneys commend the Chicago Police Department for a job well done in the planning and execution of this successful event.  This celebration was a true representation of the local community.  From a multi-cultural and cross generational standpoint, the event drew the support of all the different groups that make up this great community.  It was also a beautiful sight to witness the friendship between the police and the local citizens. Much relationship building has taken place over the years to foster the kind of trust and partnerships they now enjoy.  It is all about planting seeds that one day will reap the kind of harvest we all desire, peace.

Giving Back in Chicago’s Woodlawn Community

Giving Back in Chicago’s Woodlawn Community

Glen Lerner Gives BackGlen Lerner Injury Attorneys considers it a privilege to “give back” to local neighborhoods in Chicago.  Our most recent contribution to Hope Works Community Development is making a difference in the lives of job seekers in Woodlawn.  Here is what Rebekah King, Executive Director of Hope Works, recently shared with us:

“The gift from Glen Lerner Injury Attorneys in July made it possible for our staff to meet with 19 job seekers, three of whom received job offers this month! We also had 5 clients begin their interview process; all of them were able to use the business clothing provided through the Glen Lerner Gives Back clothing drive.”

Organizations such as Hope Works may not be well-known, but the impact they are making is evident in real life stories of individuals transitioning from crisis into employment and self-determination.  The following life transformation stories are some of the reasons our Chicago personal injury attorneys support Hope Works Chicago.

Sherin’s Story

When Sherin began working at Hope Works last January, she was a graduate student looking to create change in her community. As she prepares to move to New York to pursue her Ph.D, she says her enthusiasm for Hope Works and its GED program has yet to waver: “My passion around education revolves around defeating cycles of poverty. I firmly believe that a child’s success can be shaped through their education.”

According to Sherin, the first few meetings with clients are always the most challenging. “People have walls up. I understand that it’s hard to trust that I’ll care about you when so many people haven’t, but if you don’t develop a relationship with someone, how can you inspire change?”

One of Sherin’s favorite success stories is Patrice, a Woodlawn resident who attends weekly GED lessons at Hope Works. Despite expressing initial doubt about her abilities, Patrice has consistently excelled on her assignments and demonstrated the impact of hard work and determination.

For a community advocate like Sherin, she says that the greatest reward has been seeing clients like Patrice gain confidence in their ability to succeed. “It’s inspiring to see Patrice realize that she can get her GED and become a good example to her children and her grandson. By coming to Hope Works, you can eliminate the stereotypes of what it’s like to be on the Southside.”

Ruth’s Story

Ruth, who is a single mom of 5 kids, just got a job as an assistant manager at one of our partner organizations in Woodlawn. As an assistant manager, Ruth received her first-ever business card with this job, something we celebrated with her! Ruth’s job is paying a livable wage and affording stability for Ruth and her five children in Woodlawn.

For more information about Hope Works Chicago or to make a financial contribution, visit: http://www.hopeworkschicago.org/

Glen Lerner Gives Back and Hope Works Community Development in Chicago's Woodlawn Community

Mark Avenue Fun Fest

Mark Avenue Fun Fest

This past Saturday, July 22nd, our law firm participated in the Mark Avenue Fun Fest in Elgin, IL. This event was hosted by Greater Grace Community Church in collaboration with Christ Community Church, Elgin Evangelical Free Church, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Fox Valley Christian Action and Glen Lerner Gives Back.

Despite area power outages and downed trees caused by a severe thunderstorm the night before, the Mark Avenue Fun Fest went on as planned. The fest began around 11 am and continued until 4 pm with a steady flow of neighbors joining in on the fun. The crazy weather did not stop families from enjoying all that this event had to offer. Surrounding the church was plenty of evidence of the damage caused by the destructive micro burst storm, but on the grounds of Greater Grace Church, the atmosphere was festive and welcoming.

As neighbors walked down the sidewalk and approached the church grounds, they could hear the live music provided by the PUSH band with members from The Vineyard and Discovery Church. As they got closer, they could smell the delicious BBQ lunch courtesy of Greater Grace Community Church. Once on the grounds, they could hear the laughter from the children playing all the fun carnival games provided by Elgin E-Free church. They could see the kids jumping on the bouncy house or sliding on the inflatable water slide, and even kicking balls into the giant soccer dart board game. As they gazed toward the blocked street, they could see the older youth playing around the basketball hoop. Our friend, Roger Simmons from Fox Valley Christian Action, ran a basketball three point contest for the older boys. There was definitely something fun for every age group to enjoy but this was not all.

At registration, each family also received a raffle ticket in anticipation of the grand prize finale. Parents with children in grades 1st through 5th could also sign up to receive back to school supplies courtesy of Glen Lerner Injury Attorneys. For our firm, the Mark Avenue fun fest marked the kick off of our back to school efforts here in Chicago. Through sponsorships and our very own school supply giveaway events, Glen Lerner Gives Back will serve 9,000 kids with school supplies in Arizona, Chicago, and Las Vegas in the 2017 season.

The Mark Avenue Community

Mark Ave is a community on the border of the Eagle Heights neighborhood in Elgin, IL. It is an area traditionally known to attract low-income families seeking affordable housing. On one side of the street is a row of apartment buildings while on the other side, single family homes. Depending on what side of the street one lives on, this often signals what socio-economic group one belongs to.

Glen Lerner Gives BackMark Avenue has never been a place to establish roots but more like a stepping stone in a personal quest to transition to a “better” neighborhood in Elgin. Over the years, the Mark Ave community has been known as a depressed and hurting community needing all the encouragement and support they could get. In the midst of this reality lies Greater Grace Community Church, a beacon of hope in this community. The church plays an important role in bridging the Eagle Heights and Mark Avenue communities through events such as The Mark Avenue Fest.
For more information about Greater Grace Community Church, please visit: www.ggcc.church

Glen Lerner Gives Back Summer 2017

Glen Lerner Gives Back Summer 2017


Summer camp can be one the most exciting and life-transforming experiences that any young person can have. And yet, many children of low-income families never get to experience it. For this reason, our personal injury firm has partnered with The Salvation Army in Gary, Indiana and Waukegan, Illinois to make summer camp a reality for 30 underprivileged youth.

While at The Salvation Army’s Wonderland camp, young people will enjoy swimming in the lake, boating, music, archery, outdoor recreation, sports, arts and crafts, all while learning about God and making new friendships. For many of these kids, the time away from home is in itself lifesaving as camp serves as a safe haven from the challenges and dangers that kids face on the streets.

Here is what some of our sponsored youth had to say about their recent camp experience:

Santana Harper – 11 “I really loved going to camp. I never went before and it was awesome and I met really cool people there. My favorite part was being on the drum line.”

Shar’Mayne Harper – 9 “Thank you for sponsoring me to go to Music Camp. I went with my brother and cousin and it was super fun. We got to sing and had $5 for snacks at the snack shop plus we were able to swim every day. I did arts and crafts and made cool stuff. I can’t wait to go back.”

D’Maiya Clark – 8 “Camp was really fun. I made lots of friends. I got to sing and perform with my cabin at the talent show in my pajamas! And I can go in the pool now without floaty things!”

Carrington Slaughter – 8 “I really liked camp. I made lots of stuff and had fun. I sang and danced and ran around. Snack time and meals were my favorite.”

Sade Norton – 11 “I didn’t think I’d like camp at first since it was my first time and I only knew my brothers. I enjoyed hanging out with the girls in my cabin and playing games. I liked my theory class and want to be in band at the Corps next year.”

Armani Norton – 11 “Camp was good. I got to go swimming and meet new people. My counselor was cool and I got to sing. I’m glad I got to go and have fun.”

Jeffrey Norton – 16 “So camp was fun. We had great guests that really took time to be with me and my friends. I was in the highest choir and had a good time singing. I got to do stuff that I wouldn’t have been able to do in the city. Hopefully I can even work at camp next summer. Thank you for this opportunity.”

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.9241 Camp Lake Rd
Box 222
Camp Lake, WI 53109-0222
Phone: (414) 889-4305
http://www.wonderlandcamp.com/

2017 Walk for STH “Stronger Together”

2017 Walk for STH “Stronger Together”

Walk for the Sojourner Truth House

On Saturday, June 10th the Gary, Indiana community including those at Glen Lerner Injury Attorneys, came together for the 2017 walk for STH themed “Stronger Together”. For those that attended, the event was more than just a walk; it was a celebration of hope. Local churches, businesses, government officials, and concern community members answered the call to fundraise and volunteer on behalf of the homeless and at-risk women and children.

On that beautiful day, over 100 volunteers and 400 walk participants gathered at the STH’s grounds to prepare for the 1.6 mile walk around the neighborhood. At the event, the Glen Lerner Merrillville injury attorneys and staff handed out water, sports drinks and nutritious snacks for the event participants. What a joy it was for us to be able to interact with each of the groups that participated and join in their excitement for service.

Thanks to the outstanding work of the STH staff and volunteers, the 2017 STH Walk went as planned and without a hitch. Sister Peg Spindler, executive director, reported that STH had surpassed the amount they hoped they would reach by the end of that day. This success would not have been possible without the collaboration of like-minded groups coming together. Over 27 sponsors comprised of local businesses including the staff and Merrillville personal injury lawyers at Glen Injury Attorneys contributed to make sure that every dollar raised through the event could go towards direct services to the woman and children STH serves.

TOGETHER, we were definitely STRONGER!

SPECIAL THANKS TO THE 2017 WALK FOR STH SPONSORS:

  • Indiana American Water
  • Glen Lerner Gives Back (Glen Lerner Injury Attorneys)
  • Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors
  • NIPSCO
  • Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ
  • Powers & Sons Construction Company
  • TWG Development, LLC
  • Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes
  • St. Catherine Hospital (Community Healthcare Systems)
  • TRI-ELECTRONICS
  • Ameristar (East Chicago)
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (Sigma Phi Omega Chapter)
  • Black Diamond Pipe & Tube, Inc.
  • Hall Render, Killian Heath & Lyman
  • I.L.A. Local 1969 (AFL-CIO)
  • Tri Kappa Beta Rhe Chapter
  • Loomis | Sayles
  • Marram Health Center
  • Methodist Hospitals
  • Purdue University (Northwest College of Nursing)
  • Peoples Bank
  • Ricci’s Landscape Management Inc.
  • Rob’s Music Kingdom
  • Scott Steel Services, Inc.
  • Swartz Retson
  • United Steel Workers USW Local 1066
  • The WDS Group

Sojourner truth house walk

Sojourner Truth House (STH) is a day center located in Gary, Indiana, that serves homeless and at-risk women and their children. Founded by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ in 1997, STH serves more than 2,092 clients each month.

STH assists clients staying in local shelters with help applying to benefits, referrals to community support agencies, basic skills, employment training, healthcare screenings, addiction counseling and assistance with transitional housing.

To learn more: https://www.sojournertruthhouse.org/ to donate towards the 2017Walk For STH: http://www.walkforsth.org

Glen Lerner Gives Back Supports the 2017 STH Walk

Glen Lerner Gives Back Supports the 2017 STH Walk

Sojourner Truth House, a ministry of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, is hosting its annual Walk for STH on June 10th, 2017 from 8-11 am. This event seeks to raise $115,000.00 needed to continue to provide direct services to at-risk-homeless woman and children in Gary, Indiana.

On any given month, over 2,000 clients come to STH seeking assistance.  Each of them is given individualized care and attention with the ultimate goal of every woman and child experiencing hope and healing through the services they provide. Some of these services include daily meals, clothing, transportation, transitional housing assistance, and personal enrichment and wellness courses.

For us, having witnessed firsthand STH at work, it is evident that they are maximizing every dollar and every inch of their facility to impact the lives of some of the most vulnerable in Gary, Indiana.

We are excited about this upcoming fundraising event and encourage the community at large to participate and donate towards this great cause.  The Walk for STH is a family-friendly event and everyone is welcome to attend!

We Love Northwest Indiana

We Love Northwest Indiana

There are many reasons why Glen Lerner Injury Attorneys loves Northwest Indiana.  These top our list:

Northwest Indiana is Where We Do Business

This region has been home to Glen Lerner Injury Attorneys since 2013. Our local personal injury office located at 421 W 81st Ave in Merrillville has successfully served hundreds of clients from Lake, Porter, and La Porte counties over the past 4 years.

Northwest Indiana is Where We Live and Work

Our managing attorney, Jonathan Faust was born and raised in Lafayette, Indiana and currently resides in northwest Indiana with his family.  This makes us a local firm, managed by a local Indiana attorney serving the needs of the hardworking families in the region.

Northwest Indiana is Where We Serve

There is nothing we desire more than to support our local community and be a part of the fabric that makes this region a great place to live, work and serve.

Our personal injury firm strives to be known for exceptional legal representation and responsible community engagement through our charitable initiative called Glen Lerner Gives Back.

Our community engagement is based on long-term, organic relationships with our neighbors and partnerships with local organizations and businesses seeking to enhance or improve the quality of life of the local community through grassroots efforts.

Some of these great organizations include:

  • Bethel Church (Gary)
  • Bethel City Life Center (Gary)
  • Campagna Academy,(Schererville)
  • Embassies of Christ (Gary)
  • Faith Community Development Corporation (Gary)
  • Gary Downtown Emerson Spotlight (Gary)
  • Habitat for Humanities- ReStore (Gary)
  • Miller Spotlight (Gary)
  • Progressive Community Church (Gary)
  • Sojourner Truth House (Gary)
  • The Crown Point Community Foundation (Crown Point)
  • The Lake County Crossroads Regional Chamber (Merrillville)
  • The Legacy Foundation (Merrillville)
  • The Salvation Army (Gary/Merrillville)
  • Town of Merrillville (Merrillville)

Jonathan Faust Northwest Indiana injury lawyer, Glen Lerner injury attorneys

Jonathan Faust is the Managing Attorney of the Chicago and Merrillville accident and injury law firms of Glen Lerner Injury Attorneys.  He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Ball State University in 2004.  Jonathan earned his Juris Doctor degree, Magna Cum Laude, from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, where he was also a member and Associate Editor of the Indiana Law Review.  While in law school, Jonathan interned with the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, serving in the Major Felony Narcotics Division.  He also served as a judicial extern with the Head Magistrate of the Marion County Juvenile Court.  Jonathan was named Robert H. McKinney’s 2010 Client Counseling Competition Champion and earned the distinction of ABA Regional Client Counseling Competition semi-finalist.

Jonathan’s decision to practice personal injury law is rooted in his desire to help and serve others.  He has dedicated his legal career to making a difference in the lives of victims harmed by the negligent actions of others.  Over the past 5 years, he has personally helped hundreds of accident and injury victims recover millions of dollars from insurance companies for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.

Jonathan is a proud member of the Christian Legal Society and Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. He is a lifelong supporter of Purdue University Athletics and a loyal member of the John Purdue Club.  He and his wife Megan, live with their three children in Northwest Indiana. Jonathan is licensed to practice law in Indiana and Illinois.

The Maywood Chess Club

The Maywood Chess Club

Just down the street from our Glen Lerner Injury Attorney’s office in Maywood is a community program that teaches important life lessons to kids using the game of chess.  The Maywood chess club under the direction of former library trustee Mr. Gordon Hanson meets every Wednesday from 5 to 7 pm at the Maywood Library.

On any given week around 15 kids participate in the club.  The kids range from having zero knowledge of the game to those considered “tournament” ready.  At the club, the kids play and learn from one another.  They also benefit from the instruction and mentoring from Mr. Hanson and a couple of his adult volunteers.  Having other caring adults there ensure that each child is given the attention they need to improve in their game.  The club is always looking for a few more volunteers.

For Mr. Hanson, chess is not just a game.  He believes that chess can teach kids transferable skills needed to navigate other areas of life.  As in chess, kids learn that life is about making the right moves and that every move has consequences.  In a recent interview Hanson said,   “If you make a good move, you have a good consequence. The thing is… you have to know how to strategize and think several moves ahead in order to get the outcome you want.”

Playing chess on a regular basis can also:

  • Raise a person’s IQ
  • It exercises both sides of the brain.
  • It helps improve memory and concentration
  • It teaches planning and foresight
  • It increases problem-solving skills and creativity
  • It builds inner confidence

Compared to the games played by most kids today, chess can dramatically impact a kid’s life in a positive way.  Thank You Mr. Gordon Hanson for your personal donation of time, talent and treasure on behalf of the kids in Maywood and for the opportunity you extended to us to get involved. We consider this a strategic move!

Spring Break Safe Haven for Area Youth

Spring Break Safe Haven for Chicago Area Youth

Spring Break Safe Haven for Area YouthOver the past few months, our personal injury firm has become a fan of the Chicago Police Department’s CAPS program. CAPS, (which stands for “Community Alternative Policing Strategy”) seeks to bring the community and other agencies together to identify and solve neighborhood crime problems, rather than simply react to their symptoms.

We believe the CAPS mission aligns with the Glen Lerner Gives Back vision to become immersed in the local neighborhoods and the lives of residents throughout our city. Glen Lerner Gives Back had the opportunity to partner with the CAPS program to create a “Safe Haven” for Chicago Police Department – District 009 area youth during the week of April 10th-14th.

With the CAPS strategy in hand, and recognizing the urgent need addressed by the local community, Glen Lerner Gives Back committed the resources needed to provide 5 days of safe recreational activities for local area kids. CAPS officers and local community leaders collaborated to determine which age range and neighborhood areas would benefit most from a week of programming that consisted of what we termed, “Recreation and Inspiration”.  It was determined that the program would be open to youths ages 7-15.

Our “Safe Haven Spring Break” kicked off at 9:30 am on April 10th, starting with a continental breakfast coordinated by the CPD and funded by Target.  This breakfast was provided every morning of the program and was a key component of the day, as many of the kids come from homes where breakfast is often unavailable.

After breakfast, the youth would spend over two hours playing soccer and basketball and enjoying the many amenities of Chicago Indoor Sports, who graciously hosted our event. (Mr. John Burns and the entire facility staff, went above and beyond to welcome the kids)

The youth were given full access to all the facility had to offer, which included unlimited game access to the Razzmatazz Arcade, and provided a pizza lunch every day. On Wednesday, the 12th, the kids enjoyed a roller skating party at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park & Family Entertainment Center.


Our firm
was also fortunate to receive the much-needed and greatly appreciated time and efforts of Bridgeport community chaperones, coaches, and youth leaders. They made themselves available daily to not only provide supervision but to interact with the children and serve as positive role models. Some of them even got to share their stories during the “Daily Inspiration Youth Chat” and informal conversations throughout the day.  Our very own Glen Lerner shared his personal story of being raised by a single parent on welfare, with a dad in prison and how with God’s help he persevered and overcame those setbacks. Glen’s background resonated with the youth, and his story inspired them, along with his advice to have goals, work hard, and to trust God with their futures.

The success of this week was a result of the collective efforts of the community.  It was also a powerful testimony of what can be accomplished when groups collaborate to identify issues, work to solve them and make a positive impact where it is needed most.

Our gratitude and appreciation go out to Senator Antonio Munoz, Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council/Craig Chico, City Year, Brenda Davis,  9th District Police, Commander Stephen Chung, Sgt. Ken Janeczko, Sgt. John Verta, P.O. Sabrina King, P.O. Cheryl Clark, P.O. Kevin Rochwicz, P.O. Jim McAndrew, P.O. Jim Campagna, P.O. Oscar Escalante, CAPS implementation office/Rick Contreras and Terry Wenta, San Miguel School/Salvador Chavez,  Fuller Park/Lisa Simpson, Sherman Park/Marvin Tolbert, Theresa Johnson, Hermitage Park/Monique Whitfield, Kelly Park/Luis Ruiz, Brighton Park/Jennifer Ruiz, and Cornell Park.

Teaching Life Lessons Through Basketball at Piccolo Middle School

Teaching Life Lessons Through Basketball at Piccolo Middle School

By Injury Attorney Thomas Grace

Basketball has been a part of my life since I was nine years old.  I built my early friendships on the driveway playing basketball from sun up to sun down.  I learned to compete, I learned how to win and certainly how to lose.  The game taught me how to work with others and how to be responsible and accountable to others.

Those same lessons translated for me into the classroom.  I knew it was okay to work hard and to want a better grade in my classes than my friends.  I set goals for myself, pushed myself to achieve them, and learned from my mistakes when I fell short.  Competing honestly and with integrity was okay, basketball taught me not only that competing hard was okay, but how to do it.  Along the way, I developed confidence and a sense of self-worth that permeated all aspects of my life.

There is a certain honesty about sport that is unique.  I learned that once I stepped on the court, it was not long before the game rewarded my hard work and preparation, but the game also exposed my weaknesses just as quickly.  I had to take ownership of my level of play.  Basketball taught me the importance of hard work and preparation.  Hard work always pays off.  Not always in the way I anticipated or when I expected, but hard work always pays off.  Basketball taught me that lesson over and over again.

I never achieved great success as a basketball player.  But I tried, I completely committed to being the best player I could be.  I approached basketball with passion and with no fear of failure.  And I loved every minute I was on the court.

I took what basketball taught me and applied it to my studies, to my career, and to all aspects of my life.  As I grew older, I found other ways to feed my competitive nature.  Ultimately, I became an attorney and traded the basketball court for the courtroom.  Even in the new venue, I had to be prepared and worked harder than I ever had before.

I do not know how I would have stayed focused and on the right path without the lessons from basketball.  I would have been lost, adrift, without it.  When Glen Lerner challenged the attorneys in his Chicago law firm, Glen Lerner Injury Attorneys, to give back to the communities in Chicago, I immediately turned to what I know, basketball.  The firm is built around its client relationships and from its founder’s insatiable desire to help people.  Glen makes community outreach a priority and demands that those around him also make it a priority.

I have coached youth basketball for 7 years.  I have coached in more than 150 competitive youth basketball games in tournaments in Chicago, Austin and Houston, Texas, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. With all due respect to the Cubs’ recent accomplishments, Chicago is a basketball town and Michael Jordan is still its hero.  Chicago high schools have produced some of the NBA’s greatest players, many hall of fame players and coaches.  Despite that history, funding of the Chicago Public Schools is so strained, that even the city’s basketball programs struggle to get what they need.  Combined with the gun violence in Chicago’s west side that has made national news, young ballers are having a tough time.

With the help of Triple Threat Mentoring, I was fortunate to connect with Piccolo Middle School in Chicago’s west side and meet some fantastic educators, Erin Lauesen and Michael Abello.  Erin is a teacher, administrator and a coach.  Michael is the principal at the school.  They are on the front lines, fighting for young boys and girls and their futures.  They welcomed me into their school and allowed me to teach basketball to the young players at the school.  I worked with them in their practices, conducted Saturday morning skills clinics and helped coach some of their games.

Time on the court with these young players is food for my soul.  There is simply nothing comparable to helping a young player learn something new and watch them incorporate what they have learned into their game, and achieve new success.  Basketball was instrumental to my development as a man, and these young players cannot, must not, be denied that same opportunity.  Neither a city budget crisis, nor the ever presence of senseless violence can be permitted to interfere in the chance of Chicago’s young boys and girls to play and compete in the game of basketball.  I can’t fix the problems on Chicago’s west side, but I can teach young boys and girls how to shoot a basketball.

I was fortunate enough to see the boys and girls at Piccolo Middle School compete this past winter through their basketball season.  But when their season ended, the school had no funds for a celebration of the players’ commitment and achievement.  Winter sports banquets happened across the city, I even attended my own son’s basketball banquet at his high school in a Chicago suburb.  But there was nothing planned at Piccolo Middle School.  I could not accept that and neither could Glen.

Thankfully, Glen Lerner Injury Attorneys and its outreach program, Glen Lerner Gives Back, stepped up and provided what the school and the players needed – A Basketball Banquet.  It was nothing fancy, pizza, pasta and salad from a local favorite pizza parlor, Beggars Pizza.  When I explained what we were doing, Beggars gave us a substantial discount on all the food.  We also provided 44 trophies and medals from a local trophy and sign company, Crown Trophy.  They were happy to help select quality items to commemorate the season for the boys and girls.

Together, the players, parents, teachers and coaches celebrated their basketball season.  For an hour or two, one middle school on Chicago’s west side had a party and applauded each other and their accomplishments.  I was honored and humbled to be a small part of it.

Basketball has always been and always will be an invaluable tool to teach critical life skills.  And thanks to my boss’ refreshing and unique commitment to community outreach, and the help of a couple of local businesses, basketball will continue to teach important life lessons to the ballers at Piccolo Middle School.

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