Kurt Summers, Gery Chico and CDL students make case for debate at successful June fundraiser

Our third annual Make Room for Debate fundraiser, held on June 13, was a great success, raising over $220,000 to support the CDC’s research-proven debate programming in Chicago schools.  Leading the more than 50 corporate and individual sponsors were Platinum Sponsors GCM Grosvenor, Allstate Insurance and Kirkland & Ellis, and Gold Sponsors AonBenfield, Exelon, Northern Trust, and Performance Trust. Over 330 people from the business, civic, and education communities attended the event.

Luncheon chair Kurt Summers, Senior Vice President of GCM Grosvenor, shared his personal story of how participating in debate as a CPS student transformed his life. Gery Chico, Chair of the Illinois State Board of Education, was honored with the 2014 Champion of Debate award and spoke about the unique value of debate as a learning tool for students from across the academic spectrum. Three current Chicago Debate League students presented on the topic “my debate team is the best” and riveted the audience with their accounts of how debate gave them a voice, a community, and the inspiration to lead.

Check out the highlights video of the luncheon. To see the students’ speeches, click here . It’s well worth your time!

We are planning now for the 2015 Make Room for Debate luncheon. If you are interested in joining the Benefit Committee or sponsoring the event, please contact Edie Canter at ediecanter@chicagodebateleague.org.