WGN's Winter Wonderfest with Jennifer Hudson at Navy Pier

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Jennifer Hudson sings "Oh, Holy Night" at her toy drive celebration at Navy Pier. (Pic by Mila Samokhina)

Jennifer Hudson made a lot of kiddies very happy from the Abraham Lincoln Center Wednesday morning!  Hundreds of children, parents and fans showed up at Navy Pier's Winter Wonderfest Celebration to see her and accept the wonderful toys she had collected through various drives throughout the city in honor of her nephew Julian King.  Because of the tragedies in her own life, she created the Jennifer Hudson Foundation which seeks to help families who have lost relatives to a violent crime, with basic needs including food, clothing and shelter as well as grief counseling. 

Dionne Williams (dwilliamspr.com) organized this major event for Jennifer to celebrate WGN's 8th Annual Drive-Thru Toy Drive with the always darling WGN morning anchor, Valerie Warner, and Matt McGill doing the emceeing duties. Donald Buster Woods & G-3 performed as well as the Walt Whitman and the Soul Children Choir who brought the house down.


Jennifer has never looked better---Weight Watcher's couldn't have a better spokesperson!  After choreographer Homer Bryant's brilliant students danced, Jennifer was introduced to the holiday crowd.  She sang her own rendition of "Oh, Holy Night" which gave everyone goosebumps!  And then the gift-giving began....I was at a table with Rockit Ranch Productions owner Billy Dec and the other tables were filled with sponsors including Walgreens who had helped with the toy drives.  It was an honor to have been asked and Jennifer couldn't have been sweeter. 

And let me tell you, if you haven't been to Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier, there is still time.  It will be open through January 2nd (closed Christmas Day) and is a MUST SEE!  I felt like I had died and gone to a Disneyland Christmas Theme Park without the lines!  There is so much to do there--giant rocking horses for photo ops, little trains that chug around the holiday decor, a GREAT Christmas tree, a huge skating rink, hairdo booths for little girls, funnel cakes, popcorn, lots of exciting carnival rides, rock climbing and so much more!  This was my first visit but it sure won't be my last!!!

Thanks for coming back to Chicago Jennifer and best of luck with your much-needed charitible organization. (Additional pics by Mila Samokhina, Thomas Blue and Caitlin Saville.

Donations to the Hudson-King Foundation can be sent:
c/o Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson, LLP
Attn: William L. Abrams, Esq.
237 West 35th Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10001






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  • J-hud's Toy Drive was awesome. It was great meeting Candace and all the other amazing people there. Donald "Buster" Woods and G3 was one of my favorite groups at the event. Please check out me picture with Candace and myself here...http://mrjasonmccoy.tumblr.com/

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