Friday, November 18, 2011


Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Park District Interim Superintendent Mike Kelly joined Alderman Emma Mitts, Representative La Shawn K. Ford, Pat McCaskey of the Chicago Bears, Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr., and representatives of the Parkways Foundation, McCormick Foundation, and the Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation in officially dedicating the new football field and running track in LaFollette Park.
The Chicago Bears and Bears Care have a long history of supporting youth football programming. They are partners in the renovation project at LaFollette Park in Austin, providing a state-of-the-art all-weather artificial turf surface and lighting that will allow the field to be used nine months of the year. The track has a colorful cushioned surface for comfort and safety.
The field is part of the Take the Field Initiative, which combines public and private resources to build ten artificial turf athletic fields throughout the city of Chicago.
Chicago Bear D.J. Moore and former Bears Garrett Wolfe and Jerry Azumah participated in the dedication ceremony.
Cost of the running track is tagged at $700,000. The Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation has committed to donate up to $5 million on a 1:1 matching basis. To date, all partners have dedicated $7.9 million to the program.
“Parkways is honored to continue our work of investing in Chicago’s parks to enrich communities,” said Stacey Reineking Sather, Chairperson of Parkways Foundation. “We believe a park should be a hub of positive activity for every neighborhood and are thrilled to play a collaborative role in the refurbishing of the track at LaFollette Park to engage more Chicagoans to increase their fitness and create healthier lifestyles.”