A coalition of Chicago’s business leaders led by Greek American John Koudounis, CEO of Calamos Investments, has raised more than $1 million in a humanitarian campaign for COVID-19 relief and recovery.
A telethon held by the Chicago CEO COVID-19 Coalition hosted by Deon Cole, star of Black-ish and Grown-ish and Emmy nominated writer of the Conan O’Brien show, raised $1,012,198 by Wednesday evening for local Chicago charities.
The show titled “Sweet Home Chicago Relief and Recovery”, celebrated the togetherness and grit that make Chicago the special community that it is, with appearances by Chicago’s famous and a spotlight on the many local heroes who are making a difference.
It featured appearances by Bob Odenkirk, Buddy Guy, D.B. Sweeney, Jenny McCarthy, Donny Wahlberg, Vic Mensa, and Billy Zane. Mike Ditka and the Chicago “Superfans,” Joe Mantegna, George Wendt and Robert Smigel, made a special appearance.
The telethon was broadcast on NBC Sports Chicago on May 16, in addition to simultaneously streaming on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.
“Chicago’s very own musicians, celebrities and athletes have all come together with the city’s business leaders and their companies for this great cause. Everyone has rallied in support of our beloved city to assist our residents who are struggling in the COVID-19 crisis. It is truly a campaign for Chicago, by Chicago,” Koudounis said.
Chicago charities to receive the donations raised are: the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund; Greater Chicago Food Depository; the Salvation Army Metropolitan Division; The Night Ministry; Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Chicago; Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago; Jewish United Fund; Metropolitan Family Services; the 100 Club of Chicago; and Howard Brown Health.
John Calamos, Founder and CIO of Calamos Investments said: “We are grateful for the enthusiastic reception our campaign has received from Chicago’s business leaders, sport stars, celebrities and our neighbors. I grew up in Chicago. As we rally together to help individuals, families and communities struggling in this unprecedented health and economic crisis, we thank the local heroes for their important work in bringing our city back.”