Maddon and Ditka Unite For Charity

SUGARLOAF TOWNSHIP -- Former Chicago Bears Coach Mike Ditka and Chicago Cubs Manager Joe Maddon were together Friday night, but not in the Windy City.

They were at Valley Country Club near Hazleton, raising money for Maddon's charity, Hazleton Integration Project.

HIP was created by Maddon and his wife to serve as a unifying force for the varied cultures of Maddon's hometown of Hazleton.

"What Joe's doing here is he's helping, he's trying to help these people survive in one way or another and I think he's doing a good job, I really do. I like people who don't forget where they came from,” said Ditka.

The sold-out event in Luzerne County featured an auction of sports memorabilia and casino-style games, too.

All the proceeds go to Maddon's charity, including the Hazleton Integration Project to keep the Hazleton One Community Center up and running.

The center provides a space for special classes, after-school programs and more.

"We're trying to do our part right here in Hazleton, we're trying to unify this city, bring everybody together and as we do that, we're hoping to set an example for the rest of the country,” said Maddon.

The event may have been a chance to dress up and rub elbows with Maddon and Coach Ditka, but it is also about helping those who need it.

"We take our mission really, really seriously. There are so many people in our community who just need a helping hand and they are so grateful to get it,” said Bob Curry of The Hazleton Integration Project.

Maddon, who is in his hometown for the holidays, also donated special backpacks for the homeless in Hazleton on Thursday.


  • Ed

    This is the same guy who said that any of the old time residents of Hazleton should welcome the new people who came here and brought a ton of crime and drugs and if they don’t want to be part of the solution they should just die. Someone who comes to the area once a year and thinks everyone should kiss it. This is why the people of Hazleton can’t stand Joe or his family.

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