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Chicago Debates - Make Room for Debate Luncheon

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Honoring Wintrust President & CEO Ed Wehmer

September 15, 2020
11:15 AM - 1:15 PM

Hilton Chicago
720 South Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605

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Barack Ferrazzano is proud to be a sponsor for Chicago Debates' annual "Make Room For Debate" luncheon. At its inception in 1995, Chicago Debates was a commission formed by a group of business and civic leaders who were passionate about finding a way to bring the benefits of debate into Chicago Public Schools. Since partnering with CPS in 1997 to launch the Chicago Debate League, this organization has grown from just five high schools on the south side, to over 85 schools, including middle and high schools. Every year, 400+ Chicago Debates supporters come together over lunch to "Make Room for Debate," with students and alumni of the program taking the opportunity to speak about the activity’s transformational power. The proceeds for this event will aid in reaching Chicago Debates' 2020 goal to support over 1,700 students across 90+ CPS schools.

The luncheon is also a time to honor the program's annual Champion of Debate. This year's Champion is long-time supporter Ed Wehmer, President and CEO of Wintrust. He describes Chicago Debates as "... a great program that encourages young kids to stand up and rely on themselves. That’s an invaluable skill to learn and why Wintrust wanted to be involved with Chicago Debates. Debate is hard. Learning these skills now sets these kids up for success moving forward. As a bank that’s working to help build a stronger Chicago, this is just the type of program we’re proud to get behind.”

To register and learn more, visit: 

About Chicago Debates

Chicago Debates serves high school and middle school students from throughout the city of Chicago. It is the largest urban policy debate league in the country. Participating students come from a variety of schools, with different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds, spanning the academic spectrum. The debate program gives students the confidence to find their voice, inspires them to be leaders in their community, and teaches them critical skills that prepare them for college and beyond.

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