GREATER GRAND CROSSING — CHAMPS Male Mentoring is bringing together mentors, mentees and the mothers of mentees for its first annual Mother’s Day brunch this weekend.
Around 150 mothers and sons are expected to attend the brunch Saturday at the Gary Comer Youth Center, 7200 S. Ingleside Ave. The event will include special performances, live music and speeches from CHAMPS participants about their mothers.
Lunch from Mabe’s Deli is being provided through a partnership with DoorDash and its Community Credits program, organizers said. Mothers will receive roses and professional photographs of their loved ones. A former CHAMPS mentee will be DJing at the event.
CHAMPS Founder and CEO Vondale Singleton said it’s important to create a space where mothers and mother figures feel honored.
“We are excited about this day because our mothers are the heroes of our community,” Singleton said. “And to be able to celebrate our Mother’s Day experience with our mentees leading the way is a very unique opportunity. It’s really just a tremendous celebration to let our mothers and guardians know how much we love, adore and appreciate them.”
Singleton said his mother died when he was 14. He said it’s meaningful to host a brunch for sons to bond with and celebrate moms and mother figures in a way he did not have an opportunity to do.
“For me, personally, to see our young men have their moms in their lives is a very cathartic thing, to be able to see young men engage and interact with their moms and tell their moms how much they love, appreciate, value and respect and honor them, because I’ve never had that relationship with my own mom,” Singleton said.
The Mother’s Day event is part of CHAMPS’ ongoing mission to empower young men in their community. Future events will include CHAMPS’ End of the Year Banquet; the Strides for Peace 2022 Race Against Gun Violence where CHAMPS is a partner; the CHAMPS’ Sixth Annual Born to Win Conference and more. Information on these events is forthcoming.
Singleton said he hopes these events can also help change the public perception of young men of color in the city.
“With CHAMPS, my mission and my assignment is to educate, empower and expose our boys and young men of color beyond the four walls of the school so that they can go out and fulfill their dreams and their goals,” Singleton said.
CHAMPS also has programs in Oklahoma, Mississippi, New York and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
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