"Star Wars" creator George Lucas was on hand to Wednesday to announce a $25 million contribution he and wife Mellody Hobson are making to After School Matters, a children’s program originally launched by the late Maggie Daley.
The money will mainly be used to pay stipends to teens who participate in After School Matters, said Hobson, who chairs the organization’s board. The stipends help low-income teens who otherwise might not have the funds to participate in the program, Hobson said as Lucas looked on at the After School Matters downtown headquarters.
"Besides thanking my husband for sharing the fruits of his movie-making with our city and our country and the world. And this is a very generous thing he's doing for the adopted city that he spends a lot of time in now, Chicago -- I'm sure he never imagined that in all of his creative brain," Hobson said. "But besides thanking George for this, I also cannot overstate the support we've gotten from the city of Chicago."
Lucas said After School Matters is "really fantastic for kids here."
"It's an amazing, amazing program," Lucas said after the news conference. "All you have to do is walk through the program and see what goes on here to just realize how important it is."
The donation comes after the Chicago Park District closed Promontory Point on Chicago's lakefront to the public in late June for Lucas and Hobson's star-studded wedding reception. The move to restrict access to the area, which offers impressive lakefront views of the downtown skyline, was not in keeping with the Park District's usual rules for lakefront parties.