Cubs Host Thanksgiving dinner for runaway and homeless youth

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The Chicago Cubs have teamed up with Chicago-based National Runaway Switchboard to provide a Thanksgiving dinner for runaway and homeless youth tonight at 5:30 p.m. at St. Luke's Church, 1500 West Belmont Avenue.

"The support the National Runaway Switchboard provides for runaway and homeless youth and their families is invaluable in the community." said Mike Lufrano, Cubs senior vice president, community affairs. "This is the fifth consecutive Thanksgiving the Cubs have worked with the National Runaway Switchboard and we are proud to once again join them and the youth they serve for a special holiday


National Runaway Switchboard's mission is to keep America's runaway and at-risk youth safe and off the streets. The organization operates a national communication system for runaway and homeless youth through its 1-800-RUNAWAY crisis hotline and website. Youth and family members call the hotline to work through problems and to find local agencies and organizations to help.

"November is National Runaway Prevention Month and this dinner provides National Runaway Switchboard the opportunity to educate area runaway and homeless youth about the help they can receive by calling 1-800-RUNAWAY," said Maureen Blaha, National Runaway Switchboard executive director. "And thanks to the Cubs, we're able to let these youth know they're not alone and help is available."

The youth come to the dinner from local organizations including The Night Ministry Open Door Shelter Lake View, The Night Ministry Open Door Shelter West Town, Center on Halsted, Teen Living Program/Belfort House, Heartland Alliance/Neon Street Program, Alternatives Inc., La Casa Norte, and Boys and Girls Town Shelter.

Several members of the Chicago Cubs front office and WGN's Cubs television producer Bob Vorwald will volunteer at the event.

For more information on the event, contact the Cubs Community Affairs office at 773-404-CUBS or Joel Kessel of the National Runway Switchboard at 773-209-6125.

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