Shaquille O’Neal to Host ’Welcome to Chicago’ Fundraiser for All-Star Weekend

By: Kyle Daniels

Retired Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal will headline a fundraiser for Jesse Jackson’s civil rights organization, Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

The event, “Welcome to Chicago” takes place at Soldier Field on Feb. 13 and will raise funds to roll out “Cool Kids Code,” a S.T.E.M. program for youth, in four cities.

The program holds a three-week camp immersing inner city kids in a Silicon Valley-designed curriculum. “Cool Kids Code” picked up amazing momentum after a successful pilot in Detroit.

Speaking of the Motor City, the event will also be co-chaired by fellow Hall of Famers Isiah Thomas, who played for the Detroit Pistons, and Dave Bing, who also played for the Pistons.

The fundraiser will surely draw a crowd of athletes, entertainers, and sports enthusiasts—leading up to All-Star weekend, which is being held in Chicago for the first time in 32 years.

The event will also feature a special tribute to Shaq’s former teammate and late friend Kobe Bryant.

“I always enjoyed coming to Chicago during my career, and now I am coming back to help support a very good cause. I’m looking forward to it!” O’Neal said in an emailed statement—shared by the Chicago Sun Times.

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