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Dwyane Wade's Charitable Foundation Celebrates 10th Anniversary

By Wendell Hutson | September 4, 2013 7:20am
 Dwyane Wade of the NBA's Miami Heat in 2003 founded Wade's World Foundation, which provides programs for at-risk youths in Chicago, Milwaukee and Miami.
Wade's World Foundation
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DOWNTOWN — Three philanthropists will be honored for their community work by Miami Heat star and former Richards High School standout Dwyane Wade at a Friday gala hosted by Wade's World Foundation, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Comedian Steve Harvey, his wife, Marjorie, and Laura Ricketts, co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, "have a history of supporting programs benefiting at-risk youths and we want to recognize them for their efforts," said Tragil Wade, Dwyane's sister, who also serves as the foundation's executive director.

Cubs spokesman Julian Green, said Ricketts, the daughter of DNAinfo.com Chicago owner and CEO Joe Ricketts, is honored to be feted by the foundation.

 Miami Heat star guard Dwyane Wade, a Chicago native, has won two NBA championships in his 10-year NBA career.
Miami Heat star guard Dwyane Wade, a Chicago native, has won two NBA championships in his 10-year NBA career.
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Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

"We think it is a tremendous honor for Laura Ricketts to be recognized by Wade's World for the work she does on behalf of the Chicago Cubs Charities," Green said. "It is always our goal at the Chicago Cubs Charities to make a difference in the community."

The Harveys were unavailable for comment.

The gala, which also marks Wade's 10th year as an NBA player, starts at 6:30 p.m. with a reception at The Peninsula Chicago, 108 E. Superior St. Tickets can be bought online for $350 or by calling 312-888-9672 or 888-508-1114. The gala is part of a four-day weekend of events sponsored by the Chicago-based foundation.

Wade, who started the foundation in 2003, will host a private VIP reception at 5 p.m. Thursday at Gibsons Steakhouse, 1028 N. Rush St. where fellow NBA players will join him as he talks about his first 10 years as a professional athlete.

On Saturday, the R&B group Mindless Behavior will join Wade for the foundation's Live to Dream Festival starting at 4 p.m. at Douglas Park, 1401 S. Sacramento Drive. Youths ages 7 to 17 will be able to receive free dental and health screenings, information about employment opportunities, sign up for after-school programs and more at the festival.

Wade on Sunday is inviting everyone to join him for 11 a.m. worship service at New Creation Binding and Loosing Ministries in south suburban Calumet Park, where his mother, the Rev. Jolinda Wade, is the pastor.

“I am very excited to host a weekend of charity events in my hometown of Chicago and to celebrate the 10 years of service we have provided to communities across the country,” Wade said in an email statement.

“I am especially looking forward to the Live to Dream Festival with Mayor Emanuel and the City of Chicago, which will inspire children to dream big by providing them with programs and support to help achieve their dreams. My foundation and I want to stress the importance of after-school programs that help keep children focused and safe.”

Tragil Wade said the foundation has helped "well over 20,000 youths by supporting programs and other organizations geared toward helping them."

Among the organizations that have received support from the foundation are The Black Star Project in Bronzeville; The ARK at St. Sabina in Auburn Gresham and Kids Off the Block Inc. in Roseland.

"I don't know any other foundation started by an athlete or entertainer that is doing more than Wade's World Foundation," said Phillip Jackson, founder and executive director of The Black Star Project.

"Wade's World has been a strong supporter of our mentoring program. Unlike other foundations started by celebrities, Wade's World connects with grassroots organizations in the 'hood to ensure at-risk youths are being helped," Jackson said.