About Us

The Mission

The CLCA has partnered with Chicago Hope Academy to (1) build a premier sports complex for the youth of Chicago’s Near West Side and (2) provide high-quality youth sports and educational programming in those communities

The Vision

The Lions for Hope Sports Complex will provide a safe place for the community to gather. Athletic fields will provide at-risk children the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports and extracurricular activities within their own community. Athletics and education come together by forming partnerships with local schools and community organizations to provide mentoring programs that encourage children to stay in school.

We will accomplish this by:

  • Continuing our successful partnership with Chicago Hope Academy
  • Providing a facility for the Noble Charter Schools and other Chicago Public Schools for their outdoor athletics
  • Partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago
  • Providing a safe haven for youth in the neighborhood
    Offering summer and holiday camps/activities to provide safe alternatives to gangs and violence
  • Developing a mentor program by partnering with existing programs and utilizing the CLCA network
  • Develop a grassroots rugby pathway for the surrounding community headed by the Chicago Lions’ Director of Youth Rugby
  • Dome revenues will guarantee the self-sufficiency of the complex and reduce reliance on annual fundraising

Leaders

Board of Directors

Jeffrey Simon
President

George Plackmann
Secretary

Patrick O'Reilly
Board Member

Allie Movrich
Board Member

Brian Rooney
Board Member

Complex Committee

Jeffrey Simon

Patrick Bolger

James Quigley

Bridget O'Connor

John Duggan

Kevin Drewyer

History

Founded in 1964, the Chicago Lions Rugby Club has grown into a powerful and inspirational organization. With targeted recruiting and dedicated coaching, the Lions secured 16 Midwest Championships between 1966 and 2000 before joining the Super League where they would make the 2007 Championship game.

In Rugby 7s (seven-a-side), the Lions won over 15 Midwest Championships and the National Championship in 2007. Chicago Lions Rugby has continued to expand, emerge victorious, and produce world-class competitors. In 2018, the Lions established a Women’s team. In 2019, the Lions won the Women’s and Men’s Midwest Championships in both 15s and 7s, an unprecedented accomplishment in American rugby.

In 2007, Lions’ President, Keith Brown connected with the founder of Chicago Hope Academy, Bob Muzikowski. Keith and the Lions were impressed by Hope Academy’s vision of transformative change Chicago’s Near West Side and its youth. Keith and Bob subsequently formed a unique, mutually beneficial partnership, allowing the Chicago Lions and Hope Academy jointly to serve the deserving youth of one of Chicago’s most at-risk areas.

The Lions-Hope partnership led to a first-ever high school state championship in 2015 for Hope Academy’s rugby team, as well as a new rugby field, the Lions for Hope Field.

Ways to Support

This is a great opportunity to give back to the Chicago community!

  1. Spread the word about the campaign through your social channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter)
  2. Connect us with individuals, corporations, or foundations that may be interested in this project
  3. Donate to the campaign at www.lionsforhopesc.org/donate/

Let's Work Together

If you’re interested in helping the CLCA and want to learn more, please get in touch. If you do not wish to donate online, you can mail a donation to:

Chicago Lions Charitable Association
PO Box 532

Northbrook, IL 60065

The Lions for Hope Sports Complex is located at 2637 West Polk Avenue, Chicago, IL 60612.

Jeff Simon
President, Chicago Lions Rugby
847-921-0872

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