The baseball season may be over, but that doesn’t mean things have slowed down around Wrigley Field. Aside from ongoing construction in and around the ballpark, last night the Cubs held a tree lighting ceremony in front of the Cubs Store across the street from the main entrance to Wrigley Field.
The Christmas tree, reaching 28 feet, and decorations were donated by Christy Webber Landscapes. The tree is located in front of the Cubs Store on the northwest corner of Clark and Addison streets. Those who attended the ceremony were treated to candies from Fannie May and music by Million Dollar Quartet.
The Cubs were represented by Hall of Fame Pitcher Fergie Jenkins, Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts, Cubs Charities Chair Laura Ricketts and representations from organizations that benefitted from the tea’s 2015 Let’s Give projects.
In the days leading up to the tree lighting ceremony, fans and neighbors were asked to bring new, unwrapped toys to the Cubs Store up through the tree lighting ceremony. The toys were eventually placed under the tree. According to a Cubs spokesperson, fans, employees and neighbors stepped up to donate. The Cubs specifically asked for such donations as infant learning and teething toys, African American and Latina dolls, Learn-to-Read toys such as Leapfrog/Vtech, board books for toddlers, craft, art and jewelry kits, sports equipment, ball pumps, board games, remote control cars, Legos and Mp3 layers and headphones.
In addition, Sports Authority donated toys and sports equipment. All donations benefit the Children’s Home and Aid Society. The donations were the final act of the yearlong “Let’s Give” service campaign the Cubs initiated in 2015.
The Cubs also will have an electronic Menorah on display in front of the Cubs Store to celebrate Hanukkah, which begins this Sunday at sundown. A Cubs spokesperson tells byteclay.com that a new candle will be illuminated each night of Hanukkah to celebrate the Festival of Lights.
Children’s Home and Aid was founded in 1883 by a Presbyterian minister, Reverend Martin Van Buren Van Arsdale. He and his wife, Isabella, began by bringing one girl into their home because her mother was unable to care for her. Initially, the children who were brought in, lived with the Van Arsdales.
The Reverend traveled throughout Illinois, organizing advisory boards in different cities. In the first year he helped organize 52 advisory boards that brought in 52 children. These eventually became the advisory boards and auxiliaries for today’s Children’s Home and Aid.
This is the first year Children’s Home and Aid has benefitted from the generosity of the Cubs and their fans.