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Maggie Daley Remembered At After School Matters Gala

Maggie Daley discusses her breast cancer diagnosis in 2002. (Credit: CBS)

Maggie Daley discusses her breast cancer diagnosis in 2002. (Credit: CBS)

Dana Kozlov Dana Kozlov
Dana Kozlov is a general assignment reporter for CBS 2 Chicago. She...
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CHICAGO (CBS) — One of the lasting legacies of former first lady Maggie Daley is her After School Matters program, which has shaped so many young people in Chicago.

It just completed a year without Mrs. Daley’s guiding spirit. During a tribute Monday night, the not-for-profit’s directors paid tribute to her dedication.

“After School Matters is near and dear to my heart, as it has been since Maggie founded it more than 20 years ago,” former Mayor Richard Daley, his voice breaking, told an appreciative crowd.

From her likeness in an entrance way painting to a print in her honor, Maggie Daley’s memory was a pivotal part of the program fundraiser at Navy Pier. Mrs. Daley, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002, died last November.

Chicago high school senior Jodi Rojo has been involved After School Matters for two years. She is one of the 21,000 teens involved since Mrs. Daley founded the program two decades ago.

“I think I’m going to be an art teacher,” Rojo said.

New After School Matters CEO Mary Ellen Caron and new chair Mellody Hobson concede the first gala since the former first lady’s passing is bittersweet.  But it was also a night to remember her commitment to the city’s children while showcasing their talents.

“I feel like she would be very happy. I was a very close friend of hers, and I think she knows that it’s being taken care of, so that makes my heart very happy,” Hobson said.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel also addressed the crowd, praising Mrs. Daley and pledging to help After School Matters continue its success.