CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - It was a day of play for kids in Chicago hosted by Chicago Bulls star Dwyane Wade, his family and TV network Nickelodeon.
The Wade family has dedicated their lives to giving back to their hometown, most recently showing that by creating the Willie Mae Morris Empowerment Center in the West Pullman neighborhood.
“We are developing as we speak an empowerment center,” said Wade’s mother Jolinda Wade. “I call it empowerment because that's what we need to do with our young people.”
Nickelodeon’s annual ‘Road to Worldwide Day of Play’ was held at the center and welcomed hundreds of kids to get up and get active.
“It's great to come together and see smiles on everyone’s faces,” said Dwyane Wade. “I know in Chicago there hasn’t been a lot of that of late.”
Wade’s own family has been impacted by the violence in Chicago when his cousin, 32-year-old Nykea Aldridge, was shot and killed near her home last month. Two have been charged in her murder.
“There is nothing on the streets in the city of Chicago that is stronger than when a community comes together and gives our kids a brighter future,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
“I am starting to understand even more why I did it,” said Wade on signing with this hometown team this year and leaving the Miami Heat. “I'm starting to understand my purpose for being here.”
The Willie Mae Morris Empowerment Center will welcome kids to hang out, play sports and enjoy dream rooms - where staff will help them and encourage them to live their dreams.