When: Saturday, October, 8, 2016, 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Where: Jesse White Community Center and Fieldhouse, 410-412 W. Chicago Avenue, (312)742-2410
Activities include petting zoo, arts & craft, pumpkin patch and pumpkin decorating.
Fee: Free. Age Range: Any
History of Jesse White Park
- In 2014, the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners dedicated the new Jesse White Park and Community Center.
- The facility was made possible by a partnership between the City of Chicago, Chicago Park District and the Jesse White Foundation.
- The community center was designed by Ghafari Associates with site improvements by Wolff Landscape Architecture.
- The building received a 2015 Design Excellence Award from AIA Chicago.
- The $12.8M 30,000-square foot building includes a gymnasium and gymnastic center, computer room, community and meeting rooms, game room, fitness center, locker and bathrooms and offices.
- The 1.3 acre park was formerly the location of one or more Cabrini-Green high rise buildings.
- The building serves as the official home of the Jesse White Tumblers.
- The Chicago Park District Board of officially named the park (formerly Park 560) and building in honor of Jesse White, an accomplished athlete, scholar, mentor and public official. He taught gymnastics in college and worked as a gymnastics coach and teacher for the Chicago Park District and YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago.
- He served our country as a paratrooper in the United States Army’s 101st Airborne Division, Army Reserves and a member of the Illinois National Guard.
- He went on to play professional baseball with the Chicago Cubs organization, and then had a 33-year career with the Chicago public school system as a teacher and administrator.
- Elected as Secretary of State for Illinois 1998, Jesse White was the first African-American to hold that position. He is now the longest serving person in this post.
- He previously served as the Recorder of Deeds of Cook County, and for 16 years as a member of the Illinois General Assembly.
- In 1959, White founded the internationally known Jesse White Tumbling Team to serve as a positive alternative for children residing in Chicago’s Cabrini-Green and Henry Horner public housing communities.
- The organization has guided thousands of youngsters to a path of athleticism and scholarship. Since the team’s inception, over 13,000 young men and women have performed with the team.
- White has worked for over 52 years as a volunteer with the team to help kids stay away from gangs, drugs, alcohol and smoking, and to help set at-risk youth on the path to success.
- In 2007, White established the Jesse White Foundation as a vehicle to help the city’s youth.