The Butkus Foundation and the Chicago Bears hosted a Play Clean event at the Bears' training facility, Halas Hall, on the evening of Friday, August 1. Over 100 people, including high school football student-athletes, coaches and parents, attended the event. The group listed to a panel discussion and participated in a Q & A with Hall of Famer and Bears legend Dick Butkus. Afterwards, all of the student-athletes chose to sign the "Play Clean" pledge. They also had the opportunity to have their photo taken with Butkus, and take a tour of Halas Hall and the brand new Event Center.
The Play Clean mission is to educate and encourage high school students to make the right choice of playing clean – that is, training hard, eating well and playing with attitude, instead of resorting to illegal and dangerous steroids and performance enhancing products. The following night, on Saturday, August 2, the Butkus Foundation hosted the Chicago Sports Legacy Event prior to Bears Family Fest at Soldier Field. Dick Butkus was joined by other sports legends and representatives from the Chicago Bears, Chicago Blackhawks, and the University of Illinois, in honoring youth sports leaders and coaches throughout the Chicago area.
Youth sports programs build motivated, responsible adults who understand teamwork and community, which is only possible through the often-overlooked contributions of hard-working volunteers and coaches. The Butkus Foundation wants to make sure that these remarkable people are recognized for what they do.
During the Chicago Sports Legacy Event, the Butkus Foundation honored Bears' nominess Patricia Kirkwood of Chicagoland Pop Warner, and Scott "Reggie" Medinger of Cary Junior Trojan Youth Football; Blackhawks' nominees Efren Molina of AHAHI & USA Hockey, and Amy LaPoe of the Chicago Tomahawks; and University of Illinois' nominee John Holecek of Loyola Academy. Following the program and the presentation of awards to this year's honorees, guests enjoyed watching the Bears practice in the Zurich Skyline Suite, as well as a spectacular fireworks show.