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The Support Group Marks 25 Years Supporting Chicago Youth With Empowerment Summit And Fundraisers
For a quarter century, amidst decades of urban decay and challenges in some of Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods, The Support Group (TSG) has stood as a strong anchor in the community.
Founded by cousins Bennie Henry, a former basketball standout at South Shore High School, and celebrated NBA player Tim Hardaway, The Support Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, provides educational, cultural and recreational programs as positive alternatives to combat negative influences that can potentially plague young lives.
In celebration of its longevity in service to community youth, The Support Group will host a Teen Summit to gather and inspire youth and golf and softball fundraising events to raise dollars to continue their important work.
“Within the past 25 years, we have serviced more than 15,000 Chicago youth, many of whom are some of today’s most successful civic, political, religious and business leaders. These kids are not just our future. They are our now,” said TSG Executive Director Bennie Henry.
“We want our legacy to be positively impacting the lives of generations to come for the better – and that’s what’s happening. That’s why we started The Support Group, to help young kids who were just like us,” said Hardaway.
The Support Group 25th Anniversary activities include:
-a Celebrity Golf Outing, Aug. 14 at George Dunne Golf Course, 16310 S. Central Ave., Oak Forest, IL
-a Teen Empowerment Summit Aug. 15 at Malcolm X College where Chicago students will explore solution’s to today’s most pressing challenges, 1900 W. Van Buren St.
-a Celebrity Softball Game Aug. 17 in Skinner Park, 1331 W. Monroe St.
The 25 year celebration also included recent special recognition by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for Henry’s 25 years of service to the community. Additionally, NBA superstar Derrick Rose’s Fourth Annual Team Rose Basketball Camp last month was a part of the anniversary line-up.
The Support Group 25th Anniversary Chicagoland All-Star Classic sponsors include Clear Channel, Adidas, PowerAde, Quaker Oats, Walgreens, Vienna Beef, Bacardi, Ariel Investments, Illinois Lottery, the 8 Foundation, Walmart, FedEx, Giordano’s, Skullcandy and Wilson. For additional information, visit www.thesupportgroup.com or call 773-326-2546.
The Support Group
The Support Group (TSG) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization serving over 15,000 Chicago area at-risk youth since 1989. TSG is dedicated to providing youth with empowerment programs and services relevant to urban communities. TSG offers educational, cultural and recreational programs for at risk youth through after-school enrichment programs. The Support Group works directly with students on a daily basis throughout the year providing academic support and counseling.
The mission of The Support Group is to execute programs which provide the best opportunities for youth to understand the importance of excelling academically and athletically. Emphasis is placed on academic success, test-taking skills, leadership, and character building. TSG establishes partnerships with businesses, community and faith-based organizations in an effort to provide ongoing support to youth, through empowerment programs. Visit www.thesupportgroup.org.
More Support Group History
Realizing the disparity between athletic performance and educational excellence, as well as other influences that leave vulnerable youth victim to gang recruitment, violence, drug usage, guns, delinquency and feelings of hopelessness, cousins Bennie Henry and NBA superstar Tim Hardaway called on personal contacts, networking resources, community and business connections and their own money to create programs that emphasize decision-making, good choices, academic testing, character building and life skills.
TSG owes it longevity and success to being consistent in mentoring, messaging, programming and follow up. Students do their part by showing up, studying, doing the hard work and being prepared for every opportunity. They are held accountable for their actions or inaction. Most student participants say the program shows them they have choices and career aspirations that are possible to achieve, despite the daily gun violence that has shaken the community.