May 14, 2010

Mayor Daley Backs Blackhawks With Wager Of Local Products On Western Conference Final Series With San Jose

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Mayor Richard M. Daley today wagered a package of local food, drink and other products with the Mayor of San Jose on the success of the Chicago Blackhawks in the upcoming Western Conference Finals against the San Jose Sharks.

“The excitement over the Blackhawks has been great for the city of Chicago,” Daley said in a City Hall news conference at which he was joined by Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz and other team officials.

“Their success has brought new fans to the game of hockey, and has inspired Chicagoans who aren’t at the United Center to head out to neighborhood bars and restaurants to watch the games to cheer them on,” Daley said.

To demonstrate his confidence in the Hawks, Daley made a friendly wager with Mayor Chuck Reed of San Jose on the outcome of the series.

This wager includes products from these great Chicago companies:

- Kim & Scott's Pretzels
- Harry Caray's Restaurant
- Al's Beef
- Terry's Toffee
- Vitner’s Chips
- Windy City Soda
- Billy Goat Tavern
- World’s Finest Chocolate
- Abundance Bakery
- Connie’s Pizza
- Vienna Beef
- Azteca Products
- Garrett Popcorn Shops
- Golden Dragon Fortune Cookies
- Half Acre Brewery
- Robinson’s Ribs
- Illinois Specialty Cut Flowers
- BJ’s Market
- Eli’s Cheesecake

“Chicagoans are passionate about their sports teams, and the Hawks are bringing people together, which has been terrific for the spirit of our city,” Daley said. “We’re proud of the way they are representing the people of Chicago and the great history of the NHL’s Original Six.” 

The Mayor thanked the following representatives from the companies donating the products who were in attendance at the news conference:

• Scott Holstein, Chief Operating Officer and Co-founder, Kim & Scott’s Pretzels
• Dutchie Caray, Owner, Harry Caray's Restaurant
• Chris Pacelli, Al's Beef
• Terry Opalek, Co-owner, Terry's Toffee
• Kelly Roberts, Regional Manager, Vitner’s Potato Chips
• Ken Houbolt, President, Windy City Soda
• Sam Sianis, Owner, Billy Goat Tavern
• Mary Wondolowski, Senior Vice President, World's Finest Chocolate
• Bill Ball, Owner, Abundance Bakery
• Vince DiVencenzo, General Manager, Connie’s Pizza
• Janice Wix, Vice President, Vienna Beef
• Arthur R. Velasquez, Chairman, Azteca Foods
• April Alvarez, Account Executive, Garrett Popcorn Shops
• Gabriel Magliaro, President, Half Acre Brewery
• Charlie Robinson, Owner, Robinson's Ribs
• Troy Ong, Owner, Illinois Specialty Cut Flowers
• John Meyer, Owner, BJ’s Market
• Marc Schulman, President, Eli's Cheesecake

Because the Blackhawks beat the Vancouver Canucks in the Western Conference Semi-Final Series, Mayor Gregor Robertson of Vancouver will be sending Mayor Daley a variety of hometown goods, including:

• Wild smoked salmon from British Columbia
• Filipino shortbread cookies and tarts
• Thai yellow curry with chicken and pad thai
• Indian dishes such as saag, paneer and daal
• Chinese apple dumplings
• Greek baklava
• Italian balsamic dressing

Anything edible Chicago wins in these wagers will be donated to the Chicago Food Depository.

The Mayor also thanked the Blackhawks for their commitment to youth by working with the City and Chicago Public Schools to start a pilot after school floor hockey program in 12 schools in which more than 200 students participated.

The schools were divided into two conferences and competed for the Inaugural Chicago Blackhawks Floor Hockey City Championship. 

The program was so successful that the Blackhawks are now looking to add an additional 12 schools to the program while providing instructional support and equipment.

“I want to thank the Blackhawks for helping to invest in Chicago’s young people by giving them an opportunity to learn teamwork, dedication and commitment through the game of hockey,” said Daley.

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