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Chicago Football Classic a chance to promote education

When Morgan State faces Howard on Saturday at Soldier Field it will be more than a football game. It is a conference matchup, but it will mean something much greater to the organizers and many of the fans in attendance.

It’ll show what can happen when you get an education, which is the point of the Chicago Football Classic played between two Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

“When you look at the fact that everybody right now is focusing right now on what can we do to stop the violence,” CFC co-founder Larry Huggins said. “One of the ways to do that is to make sure that these kids get a quality education, so that they can go on and have a meaningful career so that when they graduate they can get a good job.”

As part of the events leading up to the game, there will be the HBCU College Fair & Teen Financial Empowerment Seminar earlier Saturday inside Soldier Field. Students will be exposed to schools and be encouraged to take their learning as far as possible.

They’ll also see dignitaries and alums of the schools who have succeeded in business and elsewhere, people they could emulate if they study.

“When they come and they can see the governor, the mayor, all the elected officials and all the businessmen and (businesswomen) that attend that game at one time, and that’s what a lot of people say that’s more impressive,” Huggins said. “Because of the game, we have a lot of people that who not only go to college but also talk about going to historical black colleges.”

Everett Rand, another CFC co-founder, echoed what Huggins said. And like Huggins he’s excited about the growth of the annual game, which could bring 50,000 to Soldier Field.

“There’s so much interest across the city for the game it’s just mesmerizing. All the children, all the schools, all the sponsors, everyone is real geared up,” Rand said. “Part of it is the weather but everyone is real geared up for this.”

At a Thursday event at City Hall, mayor Rahm Emanuel also championed the game.

“Our event here is not only to have a great sporting event, not only a great family event, but more importantly to get kids off on a great start in life and exposing them to the opportunities in college and a college education,” Emanuel said.