Easterseals Metropolitan Chicago is breaking ground on Wednesday, September 27 on a fitness extension to its Terrence J. Hancock Family Campus, dedicated two years ago in honor of the President of Teamsters Joint Council 25.

The Fitness, Wellness and Recreation Center will enhance the facilities at 1939 W. 13th St. in Chicago with on-campus opportunities for indoor fitness and recreation for individuals living with autism and other disabilities. For more than a decade, the Hancock family and the Teamsters Union have partnered to raise more than $7 million for autism awareness and support programs for those affected by the developmental disorder.

Hancock’s youngest son, Bryan D. Hancock, lives with autism.

Extracurricular activity plays a primary role in improving the quality of life for autistic children and adults by providing independence, recreation and friendship. The development of the new facility provides students and adult clients at Easterseals with an avenue to channel excessive energy, helping to increase coping skills and reduce inappropriate behaviors.

The Fitness, Wellness and Recreation Center will provide a structured environment with access to a variety of physical education activities including sports, exercise groups, weight training and social opportunities for students, staff and the community at-large.

Terrence J. Hancock, who also serves as President of Teamsters Local 731, founded the “In Search of a Cure” Golf Event in Honor of Bryan D. Hancock more than 15 years ago. Today, the charitable event is a national leader for autism fundraising, generating millions for Easter Seals and likeminded organizations dedicated to finding a cure. Over the years, donations from the “In Search of a Cure” golf outing helped Easterseals build the $46 million therapeutic campus and medical center.

The center is the only one of its kind to combine on-campus educational and medical research facilities with independent living accommodations and early intervention and school-to-work transition programs. Recently, “In Search of a Cure” also donated vans and electronics to Easterseals Metropolitan Chicago.

Teamsters Local 731 is an affiliate of Teamsters Joint Council 25, America’s premier labor union for Chicago, Illinois and northwest Indiana.