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Photo of six children in Wings and Urban Initiatives jerseys posing after a game

Wilmette Wings Host Urban Initiatives at Crosstown

By Tom Gizynski, 10/17/18, 8:30AM CDT

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Wings hosted the Crosstown Classic with Chicago non-profit Urban Initiatives

Since Urban Initiatives was founded in 2003, the Wilmette Wings have supported their work to empower Chicago's youth through sport and play. Former Wings coach, Jim Dower, started the organization in Chicago's Cabrini Green neighborhood when he saw a disparity between the opportunities to play sports on the north shore, where he coached, and in Cabrini Green, where he worked in Chicago Public Schools. Urban Initiatives works to close this opportunity gap by giving every participant the chance to be on a team. Today, Urban Initiatives serves 17,000 students in Chicago and the Wings have been a partner since the beginning.

The Crosstown Classic is a longstanding tradition where each fall, Urban Initiatives brings several teams of their players to Avoca Park for an afternoon of soccer, fun, friendship and pizza. This year's Crosstown Classic was hosted last Friday and included over 160 players, volunteers, parents and coaches who came out to play and have fun. Despite the cold weather, Wings kids played alongside Urban Initiatives' participants in small sided soccer games and our older Wings players helped to referee the games. Wings parents volunteered their time to help serve pizza and run activities. 

Thank you so much to our Wings community for coming out to support this awesome partner of ours. We are already looking forward to next year's Crosstown!