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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 26, 2000

Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Party Organized for Children Participating in After-School Programs Supported by First Lady's Futures for Kids Initiative

SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan sponsored several celebrations statewide this week recognizing the outstanding efforts made by students to succeed in school and stay safe. The parties were provided with the assistance of Chuck E. Cheese's and Pace.

Children participating in after-school programs supported by the First Lady's Futures for Kids initiative administered through the Illinois Department of Human Services were invited to celebrate their exceptional efforts to succeed in school and stay away from trouble. Through Futures for Kids, the Ryan Administration is taking a comprehensive look at the programs and policies that impact children's education, health and safety.

"These are just some of the children, out of the many around our state, who deserve to be recognized for their exceptional efforts to succeed academically and contribute positively to their communities," said Mrs. Ryan. "I'm thrilled with the support our state and local organizations have offered to bring this celebration together for such deserving children."

Invited after-school programs included: ABJ Community Services Inc., of Chicago; Boys and Girls Club, of Rockford; DuPage Youth Services Coalition/Outreach Youth Ministries, of Warrenville; DuPage Youth Services Coalition/The Community House, of Hinsdale; DuPage Youth Services/ DuPage County Area Project, of Glendale Heights; Healthcare Alternative Systems, of Chicago; Holy Cross-Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, of Chicago; Metropolitan Family Services, of Chicago; New Directions Fellowship Church, of Rockford; Springfield Community Federation; Union Baptist Church, of Springfield; and YWCA of Elgin.

At each site, children were treated to pizza and sodas, entertained by an animated stage show featuring Chuck E. Cheese and his friends and had the chance to play a variety of video and arcade games. Altogether six parties were held from Oct. 24 to 26 at Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Restaurants in Chicago, Naperville, Oak Lawn, Rockford, Springfield and Streamwood.

"Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza is a special place where a kid can be a kid, so we're pleased to be part of the celebration recognizing these special children in Illinois," said John Rice, Vice President, Marketing for CEC Entertainment, Inc.

All of the participating state and local organizations have worked together to offer this celebration in an effort to give back to the community and support the outstanding achievements of these children. The celebration is consistent with the First Lady's Futures for Kids program emphasis on starting prevention and intervention activities early and to increase the overall effectiveness of public and private programs for children.

"It's important to Pace that we give something back to the communities we serve, and this is one of many worthwhile projects that allows us to do that," said T.J. Ross, Executive Director of Pace, the suburban transportation service. "We were thrilled to help provide transportation so all of these deserving children could be recognized for their hard work."

DeJun Jones and Elyse Davis share a laugh with Chuck E. Cheese.
DeJun Jones and Elyse Davis share a laugh with Chuck E. Cheese.



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