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Navy Pier Gala Celebrates 20 Years Of ‘After School Matters’

File Photo Of Maggie Daley (Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

File Photo Of Maggie Daley (Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – A celebration in Chicago Wednesday night marked the 20th anniversary of one of the best programs for teens in the country – After School Matters.

As CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports, Chicago’s former first lady, Maggie Daley, co-founded the program and has never wavered in her support of a rich cultural life for kids in Chicago.

It was a big night at Navy Pier as about 1,500 Chicagoans turned out to celebrate the After School Matters program and the woman who founded it two decades ago.

A special fireworks display lit up the lakefront in honor of Daley. But she suggested the real honors were for others.

“Tonight, we gather here at Navy Pier to celebrate one of our greatest assets: our youth,” Daley said.

On stage, there was a hip hop dance group, a choral group singing songs from the Broadway hit “Cats” and a more traditional dance ensemble.

Inside Festival Hall, scores of artworks created by the kids in the program were on display. Friends of that program from the corporate world and the media were dazzled.

“This is a great combination of government and the private sector working together and I am eternally grateful,” Daley said.

“We are a richer city, a better city because of Maggie Daley’s perseverance,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.

Former Mayor Richard M. Daley was also at the celebration, but he didn’t appear with his wife on stage. He wanted it to be her night.