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Chicago Bears to compete in charity flag football game in Lake Zurich
By Adam DeRose | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 6/16/2010 11:12 AM

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Suburban football fans are invited to watch Chicago Bears players compete in a charity flag football tournament Saturday in Lake Zurich.

Tickets are available for the Meijer Celebrity Gridiron Challenge. The charity event is sponsored by the Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation, which helps children and families in need.

"It's a family friendly day and (fans) can watch this flag football tournament and also play in field games," said Ashley Rich, communications manager for the foundation.

The tournament will be on the football field at Lake Zurich High School, 300 Church St., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Chicago Bears will lead each of the eight corporate teams, throwing as quarterback.

Each team contributed at least $4,000 to the foundation to participate. Some of the corporate teams include two sponsored by Meijer (spots on one team will be raffled off to customers), Fifth Third Bank, Miller Coors, Omni Chicago Hotel and Chicago International Truck.

Tickets to attend the tournament are free and the event is open to the public.

Chicago Bears players set to attend in addition to Tillman include cornerback Zack Bowman, free safety Danieal Manning and linebacker Nick Roach. The players will also be available to sign autographs throughout the day.

This is the fourth year the foundation has organized the event, but the first time it's being held in Lake Zurich, where the goal is to raise more than $80,000. Last year, the event was at Elmhurst College in Elmhurst and raised $75,000.

Tillman has also partnered with the state of Illinois to encourage organ and tissue donation. Tillman's daughter, Tiana, was diagnosed with an enlarged heart in 2008, and received a heart transplant when she was 3 months old.

"We're going to have a fan zone with information (on organ and tissue donation)," Rich said. "This is something that is very important to him and he is very passionate about it."

She added that fans will be able to register as organ donors at the event.

"The governor has sponsored a proclamation marking the day the Charles Tillman Family Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Day," she said.

Secretary of State Jesse White will encourage visitors to register for organ and tissue donation and present Tillman with the proclamation. The Jesse White Tumblers are also scheduled to perform.

Tickets will be available in advance of the event at local Meijer store and Fifth Third Bank branches, and at the entrance gate on game day.