The Slaughter’s roots are planted firmly in Chicago soil. Since its founding in 2006, the franchise has consistently opened roles for the city’s gridiron stars, both on the field and in the front office. This Windy City loyalty has been apparent before the team even played its first snap; Slaughter is a nod to the city’s working class and to the old Chicago stockyards.
In 2009, the Slaughter rewarded the Second City with a championship during an undefeated season as part of the Continental Indoor Football League. A year later, the team joined the Indoor Football League, where it remains today, playing all of its home games at Sears Centre Arena. There, frequent promotions help create a party-like atmosphere, and spacious concourses let fans spread out and play their own pickup games using wadded-up slices of deep-dish pizza as the ball.
With targeted, ongoing mailings, SuperSibs! recognizes shadow survivors’ feelings, helps them realize they are not alone, and comforts them with inspirational letters, activity books, wristbands, a SuperSib! courage trophy, and other support materials. These comfort and care packages inform and inspire shadow survivors with messages of strength and hope during their tough times. More than 25,000 children receive SuperSibs! support, and every year the organization expands its outreach by 25%. SuperSibs! materials and mailings reduce depression, anxiety, and grief and promote emotional healing and self-esteem, helping siblings function socially and share their feelings.
The faculty of Jane Addams School is proud of the environment it fosters. Focusing on instilling knowledge, skills, and independence, it educates elementary-age children for the 21st century. And that student population hints at the diversity the future will likely hold. From various neighborhoods and socio-economic backgrounds, the student body is roughly two-thirds hispanic and one quarter white with significant populations of black, asian, and Native American children. Together, they learn about the world and academics in a safe setting, participating in academics, a Lego robotics league, and sports teams.
Historic Downtown Wheaton embraces many of the boutique gift stores, chic spas, and diverse culinary offerings that populate the historical storefronts of the western suburb’s walkable central shopping district. Before embarking on a day of checking off gift lists or simply sightseeing, slip under the colorful awnings at Front and Hale Streets to sneak a breakfast bite at the Egg Harbor Café, where The Handler sandwich tucks egg, bacon, and cheese onto a gourmet pretzel roll ($8.95). Eco-friendly gift shop It’s Our Earth's “buy recycled” philosophy unfolds space for ample creativity in the form of Snack Journals ($7 each)—fun notebooks reimagined from SpongeBob and Spiderman snack boxes that make the dog eating one's homework a slightly likelier excuse.
Metro Dash pits athletes against their own limitations as they sprint through a 600-meter course dotted with 20 obstacles that test endurance and strength. High hurdles, balance beams, rope swings, and cargo nets impede the path as contestants—guts wrenching and muscles pounding—sprint to awaken their inner warriors. The Metro Dash staff stands by to control the flow of runners and penalize those who refuse to do an obstacle for fear of soiling their powdered wig.
Metro Dash staff members divide the race into waves, sending runners through the course to climb and crawl in their race T-shirts as spectators cheer on in support. They require runners in the Elite division to run the course a second time, totaling the scores for competition. After the race, awards for the top three cumulative male and female finish times will be announced. A portion of proceeds goes to benefit the Navy SEAL Foundation
As part of its efforts to change negative perceptions and boost physical fitness and self-esteem, Special Olympics Illinois offers year-round sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Continued opportunities to participate in Olympic-type sports, such as gymnastics and soccer, help these athletes experience personal growth and friendship as they share their skills with families, other Special Olympics athletes, and their community.
Throughout Illinois today, more than 21,000 adults and more than 11,000 young adults with intellectual disabilities train and compete through Special Olympics.