By TONIA HILL
The Chicago Bulls and the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) hosted their 17th annual holiday party on Sunday, Dec. 4, at the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI), 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr.
About 400 kids between the ages of 5-13 who reside in CHA family housing developments and their parents were in attendance and received gifts from the Bulls.
As they entered the museum, students were greeted by applause and cheering from Bulls players: small forward, Jimmy Butler, point guard Rajon Rondo, center Robin Lopez, Bulls mascot, Benny the Bull and team cheerleaders, Luvabulls.
Bulls volunteers served the students lunch, compliments of Papa Johns, Coca-Cola, and Edy’s Ice Cream. MSI volunteers then took the students on a tour of the museum, and Bulls players spent time with students and distributed toys, purchased by Jimmy Butler.
“Seeing [the kids] smile not only because they got a toy but because they get to see me here, that means a lot to me,” Butler said. “I love kids, I love this city and I want everyone to be happy all the time so however I can help make that happen, especially around Christmas and the holidays, I’m here for that.”
Eleven-year-old Nisaiah Colvard said he was grateful to receive a gift from the Bulls.
“I got an air hogs helicopter,” Colvard said.
Eight-year-old Kahlia Liattle got a Barbie doll. She said she will wait until Christmas to play with her new toy.
Nine-year-old Dajia James, was pleased with her gift.
“I got a Barbie kit for makeup and lip gloss,” said James, who said meeting Bulls players was “exciting, but also scary.”
The annual holiday party is one of more than 30 events the Bulls are organizing this year as a team through the, National Basketball Association, NBA Cares “Season of Giving.”