(Washington, D.C., Feb. 11, 2009) - CNN Contributor Roland Martin and Emmy Award-winning ABC7 Chicago television anchor Cheryl Burton will serve as Master and Mistress of Ceremonies respectively at the Feb. 17 Chicago Dream Dinner to benefit the Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc. Multiple GRAMMY® Award-winning gospel singer CeCe Winans will perform. Boeing and the Exelon Foundation, which each donated $1 million to the Memorial Foundation, will serve as the lead dinner sponsors.
"We are thrilled that Roland Martin, CeCe Winans and Cheryl Burton will join citizens throughout Chicago to support the building of this lasting memorial to Dr. King on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.," said Harry E. Johnson, President and CEO of the Memorial Foundation.
The Chicago Dream Dinner will take place at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, located at 151 E. Wacker Dr. Cocktails begin at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and a program at 7 p.m. John W. Rowe, Exelon Foundation Chairman and Exelon Corporation Chairman and CEO; Frank M. Clark, Exelon Foundation board member and Chairman and CEO of ComEd; and James A. Bell, Boeing Corporate President and Chief Financial Officer, will serve as dinner co-chairs.
"The Exelon Foundation is pleased to support the Chicago Dream Dinner and to join the effort to create a memorial that will honor Dr. King's advancement of civil rights and contributions to justice and equality," Rowe said. "This worthy endeavor serves the Exelon Foundation's mission of increasing awareness of the civic and social benefits of diversity and the importance of understanding tolerance."
"Memorializing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the National Mall will ensure that future generations are inspired by his message of hope, equality and possibility," said James A. Bell, Boeing Corporate President and Chief Financial Officer. "By supporting this Chicago Dream Dinner and the Memorial, Boeing is honored to be a part of a great network of supporters who are helping â€˜build the dream.'"
Dinner tickets begin at $250 and sponsorships start at $10,000. Both are available by calling (312) 553-2000 or visiting www.chicagoforthedream.org.
The event is part of a series of Dream Dinners that have been held in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Houston and San Francisco. A recent Miami Dream Dinner featured President Bill Clinton.
The Memorial Foundation has raised $104 million out of the needed $120 million. In addition to Boeing and the Exelon Foundation, major donors to the Memorial include: General Motors, Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation, NBA/WNBA, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Walt Disney Company Foundation, The Coca-Cola Foundation, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Ford Motor Fund, Toyota, AARP, AFLAC, BP America, Inc., CIGNA, Credit Unions of the United States, DuPont, ExxonMobil Foundation, Fannie Mae Corporation, FedEx Corporation, GE, Ann and Joel Horowitz Family Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Sheila C. Johnson-Newman, Lehman Brothers, George Lucas, MacFarlane Partners, The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, McDonald's Corporation, MetLife Foundation, National Association of Realtors (NAR), National Education Association (NEA), Nationwide Foundation, PepsiCo Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Pfizer Foundation, Prudential Financial, Inc., Shell Oil Company, State Farm Insurance, Verizon Foundation, Viacom, Wal-Mart and Morehouse College, among others.
About the Washington, D.C., Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc.
A Memorial honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be built on the National Mall, situated adjacent to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and in a direct line between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. Congress passed Joint Resolutions in 1996 authorizing Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. to establish a Memorial honoring Dr. King to be built in Washington, D.C. The ceremonial groundbreaking took place on November 13, 2006 and the Memorial will be completed in 2010. McKissack & McKissack / Turner Construction Company/ Gilford Corporation / Tompkins Builders, Inc. Joint Venture will serve as the Design-Build Team. McKissack & McKissack is the oldest minority-owned architectural firm in the United States. For more information or to make a donation, please visit www.buildthedream.org.