Sin City, Chicago Bulls Style

Chicago (WCHI)–The chips were stacked high Sunday night at the Chicago Cultural Center, where Chicago Bulls player C.J. Watson hosted his Vegas-themed fundraising event. “Vegas Night” was organized to help raise money for the Quiet Storm Foundation, an organization established by the the Bulls guard to help at-risk youth.

“Your presence here tonight is a strong example of your commitment and dedication to improving educational programming here in Chicago,” said Watson.

The fourth floor of the Cultural Center was transformed into a high rollers paradise, with lively energy throughout the Vegas style atmosphere. The dimly lit area was decked out with black and silver table linens, dazzling chandelier candle holders, topped with red floral arrangements and giant white feathers stood throughout the room.

Event goers gathered around game tables for rounds of blackjack, roulette, craps and poker. Guests also enjoyed drinks and scrumptious hors d’oeuvre’s like Asian beef & bacon wrapped scallops. Funny man, Leon Rogers of WGCI’s Morning Riot Show and producer Lisa E. worked the crowd, as the emcees for the evening; and DJ Vince Adams rocked the party on the turntables.

Teammates Taj Gibson and Brian Scalabrine were among the guests, as well as Chicago Bears D.J. Moore and Chris Harris in support of Watson and his efforts through the foundation.

“When you’re an athlete, football or basketball it’s especially important to come out and support whenever you can,” said Moore.

With the support, encouragement and help of his parents, Charles Watson Sr. and Cathy Watson, The Quiet Storm Foundation was established in November of 2009, with goals of helping under-served children gain access to opportunities and more resources.

“We are proud to donate the proceeds from this event to 3 inner city schools here in Chicago,”said Watson Jr. “My foundation was funded and designed around that purpose.”

The proceeds raised through ticket sales, donations and the silent auction on items such as autographed Bulls memorabilia benefited three Chicago Public Schools.  Staff members and supporters from the chosen schools, Sumner Math and Science Academy on Chicago’s Westside and Robeson High School and Nicholson Technology Academy, both located in the Englewood neighborhood, were also in attendance.

Principal Rodney Hall of Nicholson Technology Academy expressed his appreciation for the foundation and the strides that the Watson’s are making to reach out and help. “This is a very rare opportunity in all my time with Chicago Public Schools, 20 years, I’ve never had a Bulls player or an NBA Cares foundation, come out and support us,” said Hall, “they sought us out.”

Cathy Watson stood before the crowd, and drove home the importance of not just giving back, but most importantly giving to kids.

“This is a great, great, great opportunity to help out children, we are all a family and I believe it takes a village,” she said.

CJ Watson will host an essay contest for local students and students from other parts of the country, in Chicago on March 12. For more information on The Quiet Storm Foundation or upcoming events visit www.cjwatson32.com or www.quietstormfoundation.com