Making a Dent to Further Education at Columbia College

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Making A Dent -As guests waited, they sipped on mojitos and sangrias before making their way into the main room with its expansive buffet spread filled with skirt steak, spicy shrimp and Spanish chorizo sausage skewers, empanadas and other selections.

Park Forest, home to Dent’s new business venture, supplied off duty police officers to escort celebrities and sports personalities into the festivities: Andre Dawson, Dr. J – Julius Ervine, Marcus Allen, Vince Vaughn, and former Dent teammates, Mike Richardson, Doug Williams, Otis Wilson, Jim Covert, Jerry Azuma, Mickey Pruitt, Jim Osborne, Bruce Herron, Kurt Becker, James “Big Cat” Williams, Willie Gault, and current Chicago Bears, Israel Idonije and J’Marcus Webb.

Mike Richardson, Doug Williams, Richard Dent, Marcus Allen, Otis Wilson, Vince Vaughn
Photo credit: Jeff Schear


The anticipation and excitement ramped up as Richard made his way through the crowd of 400, which included Chicago’s business and community leaders, friends, fans and supporters, all offering their congratulations.

Ryan Baker, the lead sports anchor for CBS Channel 2, acted as the evening’s emcee. When Richard took the platform he expressed his overwhelming gratitude to everyone who had supported him throughout his career. Heartfelt tributes were given by friends, former teammates, college coach, and mentor, Coach Joe Gilliam Sr. and daughters, Mary and Sarah.

Many community notables were in the crowd: James Bell, corporate president and CFO of Boeing and wife, Mary, LaRue Martin Jr., Community Service Director of UPS and former NBA player who plays the occasional basketball game with good friend, President Obama, Les Coney, Ralph Hughes, Carol Adams, Ken & Sue Koranda, Lyle Logan and Shawnelle Richie, Bill Marovitz, Arny Granat, Darrell Williams, Joe & Jennifer Uremovich, George & Barb McCaskey, Dr. Michael O’Meara, Pro Football Hall of Fame President, Stephen Perry, Sara Beardsley Tatzloff and Ted Tatzloff, Bruno Cohen, Shelia and Keith Dorman, Dan Uslan and Amy Wimer.

Presenting Sponsor, The Boeing Company, was joined by $5,000 MVP Sponsors: Carnivale, Sara Lee, UPS, Rob Koranda Memorial Foundation and The Institute for Transfusion Medicine, run by former Dent teammate, Jim Covert.

Sackman Sponsors included: Art of Imagination, Cattleya Designs, CBS Chicago, C. H. James Restaurant Holdings, The Chicago Bears, Columbia College, Ernst & Young, Harbour Contractors, Hotel 71, MarCon Communications, Mesirow Financial, Northern Trust, O’Hare Limo, and Standard Pipe & Supply.

Approximately $120,000 was raised through the event and will benefit The Make a Dent Foundation’s scholarships in sports management program at Columbia College and community economic development programs. For more information please visit
Editor’s Note:
The event was produced by my good friend, Margaret O’Connor and her company, MarCon Communications.

Photos by Steve Starr & Jeff Schear

About Irene Michaels

Over the past 25 years I have taken on the roles of a producer, publisher, insider journalist and fundraiser. My artistic interests began early in my teens working as a model and a dancer throughout the U.S. I formed my first modeling agency before I was twenty. While modeling I secured a re-occurring role in the popular daytime TV series General Hospital. Read more...

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