Friday, January 13, 2012

The VOICE Welcomes Mindless Behavior

Entertainment Editor Andrew Griffin Welcomes Ray Ray, Roc Royal, Princeton, and Prodigy to Chicago.


     For 17 years, the Windy City Dolphins Football program has been dominating the United Youth Football League from its home field in Amundsen Park in Chicago’s West Side Galewood neighborhood. The Windy City Youth Football League was founded in 1995 to offer the children of Austin, Galewood, Garfield Park, and North Lawndale a supervised recreation program as an alternative to street gangs. The program is designed to teach young people the fundamentals of football and develop sportsmanship in players. Cheerleading was launched as an auxiliary to the football program. By using football and cheerleading as tools for success, the Windy City Dolphins develop character, instill discipline, and promote teamwork and leadership qualities in children.
    The Windy City Dolphins comprise three teams: the 8-10-year-old Mighty Mites, 10-14-year-old Junior Midgets, and the Varsity All-Americans – ages 10-15 based upon size and skills. All three teams and the cheerleaders traveled to Tampa, Florida, for the United Football League National Championship games. The Mighty Mites split their games 1-1, as did the Varsity All-Americans, while the Junior Midgets went 0-2. The cheerleaders placed 4th in national competition.
    When most high school and park district football programs have wrapped up their seasons, the Dolphins football and cheer squads are still running drills and practicing.
    Since 1995, the Dolphins name has been synonymous with winning, both on and off the field. With more than 15 state and regional football championships, 10 state and regional cheerleading championships, 2 national cheer championships, and one national football championship, the Dolphins have proven themselves to be winners and have represented Chicago with honor.
    The bigger success is the tools provided these young men and women off the field. “There’s a sense of community and responsibility that you can see in these kids’ eyes once they have completed their tenure with the Dolphins,” says WCYFL President Gerald Harris. “Many of our alumni are coming back to volunteer and act as mentors to the new crop of kids; which, in my opinion, states that we are doing something right.”
    Adds Julius Riley, WCYFL Vice President, “For years, many of the top academic high schools in Chicago have been knocking on our door for kids. We instill in our kids that doing right in the classroom as well as in the field can open doors that you wouldn’t believe. With our players doing well both academically and in sports at the likes of Mt. Carmel, Leo, Gordon Tech, Curie, Whitney Young, and Westinghouse, it’s been a lot easier for us to show kids that anything is possible,” Coach Riley emphasizes.
    And, the success doesn’t end in high school. Head Coach Orlando Hoye lists at least 18 Windy City Dolphins alumni who are currently attending or have received degrees from such prestigious universities as Notre Dame, Indiana University, Iowa, Northern Illinois, Valparaiso, Lincoln, and Augustana. These young men are transferring success on the gridiron and in the classroom to success in life!
    For information on joining Windy City Dolphins programs and volunteer coaching positions, log onto their website:, or call Coach Hoye at 773/370-2448.


Gerald K. Harris, President
Julius Riley, Vice President
Melvin Crump, Longest-serving Coach in
    the Program
Orlando Hoye, Head Coach, Varsity All-Stars
LaVelle Brown, Head Coach, Red Jr. Midgets
John Ivy, Head Coach, Big Green
Artiss McCastle, Head Coach, Little Blue
Donna Harris, Head Coach, Cheer Squad
Steve Robinson, Coach, Big Blue Bandits
Ben Teague, Coach, Varsity All-Stars
Ernest Williams, Coach, Little Blue


Thomas Brownlee, Harold Jackson,
Keith Pittman, Kenny McNeal


Robert Hughes – Graduate, Notre Dame             (Played for Bears in Pre-season)
Justin Anderson – Graduate, Northern Illinois
Patrick Pinson – Graduate, Buffalo University
Marvin Atkins – Graduate, Michigan Tech
DeAngelo Roberts – Indiana University
Jovon Ivy – Augustana University
Maurice Fleming – Iowa University
Keith Elliot – St. Francis University
Andre Cooper – University of
Volta Perkins – College of DuPage
Darius Fleming – Notre Dame
Kevin McIntyre – Butte College (California)
Jamell Tambah – Harper College
Donnell Lee – College of DuPage
Davonte Minniefield – College of DuPage
Michael Henry – Lincoln University
Nick Hinton – Valparaiso University


Olavenia Jackson and her husband, Luster, celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Mrs. Jackson died New Year’s Eve at age 81.
    Who could ever experience and then forget the warm, ready smile and that well-modulated voice laced with sunshine of West Sider Olavenia Faustine Jackson? The former teacher in the Chicago Public Schools and West Side community activist died New Year’s Eve at West Lake Hospital in hospice care. She was 81 years old and died after a long illness, including several strokes and bouts of pneumonia. Mrs. Jackson’s husband of 56 years, Luster, and their son, Michael, were at her bedside when she passed.
    Olavenia was born July 12, 1931, in Milport, Alabama, the fifth of six children to Reverend Henry Rush, Sr., and Leona Rush. She and her siblings attended elementary school at her father’s church, Rush Temple C.M.E. Church. She was taught by her mother because African American children could not attend local white schools in the segregated South. Olavenia completed her high school years at Lamar County Training School. Upon graduation, Olavenia enrolled at Alabama A&M University in Normal, Alabama. She thrived at the school, becoming the campus queen and a charter member and first Basileus of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority-Gamma Mu Chapter in 1949. In recent years, she was recognized as a Golden Soror for her loyal service for more than half a century. Olavenia was a regular at Alpha Kappa Alpha functions.
    Upon completing her undergraduate studies, Olavenia moved to Chicago in 1952 and became a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools. She earned a Master’s Degree in Library Science from National Lewis University. During her professional career, Olavenia served as a classroom teacher, literacy instructor, and concluded her working life as a Librarian at Alexander Pope Elementary School in North Lawndale. Her students remember her as compassionate, but holding them to high standards. She was known for her no-nonsense approach, but for always supporting her students in need of assistance.
    Olavenia was united in marriage with Luster Jackson on March 26, 1955, and at the time of her death had been married for 56 years. They had two sons whom they raised with a strong sense of community values and faith. Olavenia and Luster were an inseparable couple at church, social, and political functions. She and Luster moved their family to Chicago’s West Side in 1962. Luster was by trade a construction contractor, but both he and Olavenia were active in community and political affairs. She assisted in organizing the Midwest Community Council’s Helping Hand Committee, which provided sanctuary for endangered children; the Garfield Park Advisory Board, becoming its Secretary; the 3400 West Jackson Boulevard Block Club; and the Chicago League of Negro Voters, launching the Black Independent Political Movement in Chicago in 1959, resulting in the slating of African American attorney Lemuel E. Bentley for City Clerk in 1960.
    Mrs. Jackson was a staunch supporter of her husband’s campaign to become an independent alderman of the 29th ward in 1967. She also organized a women’s support group for the Concerned Citizens of East Garfield Park, which successfully fought to save homes in the path of the Cook County Board’s plan to construct a courts building in the community.
    Mrs. Jackson took a lead role in advocating for issues that benefited her neighbors and all city residents. She was a founding member of the League of Negro Voters Organization and one of the first contributors to the historic Chicago DuSable Museum. In addition, she was a founder of the Garfield Park Advisory Board.
    The daughter of a pastor, Olavenia had a strong religious upbringing at Rush Chapel and Holly Grove Baptist Church. When she moved to Chicago, she joined Bethel A.M.E. Church, where she was a member for more than 50 years. She was a member of the choir, Lay Organization, and Sunday School. In addition, she was the organizer of the Allen Christian Endeavor League, and served as its Secretary for many years. She was a Den Mother and board member for her church’s Boy Scouts organization. She also volunteered for years in the church pantry, serving the needs of families throughout the community, and was a founding member of the Bethel Credit Union.
    Preceding her in death are Olavenia’s parents; two sisters, Ottis & Gladys; and three brothers, Arnold, Harold, and Henry, Jr.
    Left to cherish her memory are her loving husband, Luster; two sons, Michael (Sylvia) and Larry (Ora); five grandchildren, Michael, Tanya, Michael, Jr., Jibreel, and Ameer; special niece, Dr. Barbara Eason Watkins; and a host of other nieces, nephews, cousins, close friends, and many acquaintances.
    Funeral services are being held Saturday, January 7, at Bethel A.M.E. Church, 4444 South Michigan Avenue. The wake is at 10:00 AM, followed by the funeral at 11:00. Burial is at Lincoln Cemetery, 127th & Kedzie Avenue. A repast is being held at Bethel A.M.E. Church Educational Building following the burial. Arrangements are being made by Calahan Funeral Home.


 McNair School staff members who coordinated the Chicago Sun-Times gift requests from students. Dr. Shirley A. Dillard is McNair Principal. (Photo by Walter Tidwell)
Students at Ronald McNair Elementary School receive presents thanks to the generosity of the Chicago Sun-Times who fulfilled their wish lists. (Photo by Walter Tidwell)