Hip-hop artist and actor Common’s third annual Common Ground Foundation Awards Gala and Fundraiser was a show-stopping success. The Chicago native played host at the sold-out event, held March 23 at the Four Seasons (120 E. Delaware), and recruited emcees WLS-Ch. 7’s Cheryl Burton and actor Lamman Rucker, and red-carpet host WMAQ-Ch. 5’s Michelle Relerford. They rallied more than 450 attendees to honor Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Quintin and Diane Primo, Tim and Everett Rand and Gabby Douglas for their work in the community, but the most heartwarming moment came when six teens who attended Common’s summer camp spoke of how their lives have been changed through mentorship. Live and silent auctions — including a night on the town package with Magic Johnson that three people bought for $30,000 each — helped raise more than $350,000 for the foundation, which uses the arts to empower young people in Chicago.
The Sun-Times was the media sponsor of this event.
Story by Katerina Bizios | Photos by Ramzi Dreessen