- Signature Programs
The roots of modern day Cubs Charities' were planted in the early 1980s with the tragic death of Steve Macko, a Cubs infielder who passed away from cancer at age 27. At the time, team physician Dr. Jacob Suker inspired the team to fundraise for cancer research and treatment programs. The team charity was formed in 1981 as "Cubs Care" and hosted its first "Meet the Team" fundraising event. The charity was officially incorporated in Illinois in 1986.
While 1986 was the official start of Chicago Cubs Charities, the team's charitable efforts has roots even deeper in the past.
Cubs Charities goals expanded beyond cancer research, when in 1991, Cubs Care partnered with the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, a valued alliance that still exists today. Since beginning this partnership, Cubs Care has given more than 700 grants, worth more than $18 million, to local non-profit organizations. The McCormick Foundation matches 50 cents on every dollar donated by Cubs Charities. Cubs Care grants focus specifically on creating opportunities for at-risk youth in the areas of education, youth sports, and health and wellness.
In 2003, the charity changed its name to Chicago Cubs Charities, though it retained the "Cubs Care" name for the McCormick Foundation grants. Cubs Charities continues to grow and expand its philanthropic reach today. The charity is fueled by the passion and generosity of Cubs fans, corporate partners and players, through their heartfelt donations and support of Cubs Charities' fundraising events. These funds allow the charity to fund Cubs Charities new signature programs, and grants to nonprofits by Cubs Charities.
Since the official incorporation of the charity in 1986, Cubs Charities and Cubs Care together have donated more than $25 million. Proudly, Cubs Charities donations have expanded by more than 40 percent since the Ricketts family assumed control of the team. On average, in each year of their ownership, Cubs Charities and Cubs Care donated $2.29 million to nonprofit organizations and programs serving youth and families in need.