Wrigleyville bar donates $20,000 to local schools


Maria Cardona

Murphy’s Bleachers, a family-owned Wrigleyville staple, is funding every Donors Choose project teachers in the 60613 zip code have posted.

By Metro Reporter

In honor of Chicago’s World Series win, well-known Cubs bar Murphy’s Bleachers is funding all of the Donors Choose projects in the 60613 zip code.

Donors Choose is a website that allows people to directly fund specific projects teachers post for their students.

“We wanted to give something back after the World Series,” said Beth Murphy, co-owner of the family-owned rooftop bar. “It was extremely important to my husband, Jim Murphy, that we participate with the neighborhood, and we have for decades.”

Murphy said as a part of previous charitable efforts, the bar has hosted an Oktoberfest celebration for the community for the past 18 years. Murphy added that she had independently donated through Donors Choose in the past. 

The family picked Donors Choose for their donations because they knew it would go directly to the teachers and classrooms for what students really need. Murphy said the donations added up to roughly $20,000.

Elisa Peña, a third grade teacher at Inter-American Magnet School in Wrigleyville, was one of about 25 teachers whose projects were funded by Murphy’s. Peña’s project, “Let’s Get Organized,” is designed to teach students organizational skills. 

The $500 project funded a mailbox in which students could turn in work or letters from home and organizational drawers for the students’ tables. A parent at the school donated $50 toward the goal, and Murphy’s funded the rest. 

“It was exciting because our school is right in the heart of all the excitement with the Cubs winning, and the students are able to see that,” Peña said. “So when I did see that Murphy’s donated, I was very excited because we could then bring community into the classroom. They could make a connection to [the Cubs winning], so they will remember that as part of their third grade experience.”

Murphy said other projects paid for musical instruments, Chromebooks, ink for printers and even hip-hop dance classes. 

Peña said the Cubs have also been involved with the magnet school this past year, hosting a Play Chicago event on the day of Game Five at which the team came to the school to play baseball with the students and talk about the importance of working together as a team.

“We’re excited to have this big event in history,” Peña said. “Seeing part of it is great for the kids to experience.” 

Kirk Smiley, principal partnerships director at Donors Choose and lifelong Cubs fan who has frequented the neighborhood bar, said Murphy’s donation was a “huge, wonderful thing.” 

Smiley added that individuals and businesses of all sizes find Donors Choose so appealing because it allows people to donate based on their interests. There are all types of projects, like cooking, yoga and gardening.

“It was so inspiring to see they had donated to the classroom projects in the neighborhood in honor of the Cubs’ victory,” Smiley said. “To see the Murphy’s team come along, donate for that reason and make such a huge impact and fund all the projects in the zip code was really inspiring.”