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CHICAGO — The 25th anniversary of Christmas in the Wards took place on the South Side Tuesday evening.

Four families were selected to come pick out gifts at the Walmart in Pullman — including Latifah Hooper and her 8-year-old daughter Miracle.

“For her to get it means a lot to her right now,” Hooper said. “It feels really good to see a smile on her face.”

The event began 25 years ago in Englewood and has expanded city wide, donating more than $6 million in gifts since its inception.

‘Christmas in the wards’ had to be cancelled last year due to COVID-19, so organizers are very excited to bring it back to life. Mayor Lightfoot was on hand Tuesday night.

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Six Flags Great America released the following statement regarding the shooting:

Six Flags dedicates our greatest amount of time, talent and resources to safety and security.

Layers of preventative measures both inside and outside the park are in place for the protection of guests and team members. We continue to review and enhance our protocol on a daily basis to ensure we are providing the highest level of safety.

Cameras placed in the parking lot and inside the park, uniformed and plain clothes patrols throughout the property, and advanced screening technology allow us to react quickly and provide important information. The park security team is joined by the Gurnee Police Department, who operates a substation at the park.

This evening, we are incredibly grateful to our team members who reacted in a professional manner to take care of our guests, and for the Gurnee Police Department for their on-going presence and commitment to Six Flags Great America.

“This event started with 30 families, 150 kids,” Huggins said. “Today, when you stop and think we are in 40 of 50 wards in the City of Chicago, that is truly amazing.”