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Inaugural Charles Tillman 5K Run/Walk a big success
Posted By:  Courtney Boeckman
Thursday, March 27, 2014

Bears season-ticket holder Dan Hull always watches his favorite team from the first row in a section that has dubbed itself “The Peanut Gallery,” an homage to cornerback Charles “Peanut” Tillman.

But that’s not why Hull was at Soldier Field Saturday. Hull and about 600 others braved wintry weather conditions to participate in the inaugural Charles Tillman 5K Run/Walk. The event benefitted Tillman’s Cornerstone Foundation, which he and his wife Jackie created in 2005.

Asked why he was there to support Tillman, Hull said: “Charles has just given so much to the city and to the Bears, the entertainment he’s just given playing for the Bears. He’s been fantastic. We sit in the ‘Peanut Gallery’ and he comes over after every game win or lose. He’s just a great man.”

The 5K run/walk was held in conjunction with Universal Sole, a running store with two Chicago locations that often hosts races and fun runs. Tillman was out on the course in the snow and wind and later took center stage, literally, to thank the runners and present raffle prizes that included autographed helmets and footballs as well as gift certificates.

“Charles stole the show,” said Universal Sole race director Rhonda Anderson. “He was out there high-fiving everybody. He started off running and then came back and encouraged everybody to finish. He even stayed out there for the kids’ dash. He’s a trooper. It’s pretty impressive.

“Honestly, he and his family are the nicest people, the nicest celebrities that I’ve ever dealt with in my life. He’s truly salt of the earth and I just wish that more people could be exposed to him to see that because a lot of people think of athletes as arrogant and he’s the antithesis of that.”

Driving to Soldier Field in heavy snow showers Saturday morning, Jackie Tillman never dreamed that so many people would participate in the charitable event.

“To be honest, I can’t believe how many people did come out because it was like a blizzard on the way in,” said Jackie, an avid runner who ran the 5K course. “The weather wasn’t the best, but it went really well. It’s neat because 100 percent of the money goes to the foundation. Everybody who put this together donated their time and their resources, so this was a really big deal for us.”

Since its inception, the Cornerstone Foundation has impacted over one million children and raised more than $1 million. The foundation initially provided children with educational opportunities and resources to excel in the classroom. But after Tillman’s three-month-old daughter, Tiana, was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy and received a life-saving heart transplant in 2008, the mission was changed to improving the lives of critically and chronically ill children.

Registration for the 5K run/walk cost $40 in advance and $50 on the day of the race. Entry into the kids’ dash was $20. Many of the participants donned Bears gear, including Tillman’s No. 33 jersey.

The post-race party was held inside Soldier Field’s United Club and included free pizza from Papa John’s. Prizes were awarded to the top three male and female finishers in 13 different age categories. In addition, the overall male and female winners of the race won an all-expenses-paid trip to Denver to compete in the Wings for Life World Run on May 4.

While up on stage after the race, Tillman got emotional when he was surprised by Katy Stephens, a Chicago high school student Tillman had helped after she was bullied by classmates. The story was part of a recent “NFL Characters Unite” documentary on USA Network that featured NFL stars discussing their own personal stories of overcoming prejudice, bullying and discrimination with the goal of helping young people who are currently facing the same types of challenges.

Katy gave Tillman a hug, but she clearly isn’t the only one who appreciates his efforts.

"I was shocked that so many people showed up with this weather," said Hull, the Bears' season-ticket holder. "It just speaks to how many people respect what he does."





 
 
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  • Charles Tillman
    • 05/08/2014 - Hometown names street in Tillm
    • 04/07/2014 - Tillman fans can receive box o
    • 03/27/2014 - Tillman sure he will play in 2
    • 03/27/2014 - Tillman re-signs with the Bear
    • 03/27/2014 - Tillman gives Super Bowl ticke
    • 03/27/2014 - Tillman delivers a 'Charles' L
    • 03/27/2014 - Tillman 5K Run/Walk being held
    • 03/27/2014 - Inaugural Charles Tillman 5K R
    • 03/26/2014 - Chicago Bears Cornerback Charl
    • 03/26/2014 - Charles Tillman’s 4th Annual M
    • 03/26/2014 - Charles Tillman named Player o
    • 03/26/2014 - Celebrity Waiter Night a big h
    • 02/08/2014 - Tillman featured in NFL Charac
    • 01/31/2014 - Tillman Hosting 5K Race to Be
    • 01/26/2014 - Tillman Appears on TV with Pay
    • 01/20/2014 - Tillman a Finalist for 2013 NF
    • 01/17/2014 - Tillman takes kids shopping at
    • 01/10/2014 - Tillman appears on United King
    • 01/09/2014 - Tillman not worried about foot
    • 12/30/2013 - Tillman named Bears' nominee f
    • 12/12/2013 - 8 Reasons Charles 'Peanut' Til
    • 12/10/2013 - Charles Tillman Shops for Need
    • 12/04/2013 - Tillman supports USO Illinois
    • 12/02/2013 - Tillman delivers Thanksgiving
    • 11/26/2013 - Francie Paul feels kinship wit
    • 11/12/2013 - Tillman injured in loss to Lio
    • 10/31/2013 - Tillman supports Breast Cancer
    • 10/29/2013 - Charles Tillman: A True Sports
    • 10/24/2013 - Tillman supports Needy Family
    • 10/10/2013 - Tillman's Benefit to Fund Two
    • 10/02/2013 - Tillman shares inspirational s
    • 09/26/2013 - Celebrity Waiter Night a can’t
    • 09/25/2013 - The Montgomery Club and Chicag
    • 09/24/2013 - Tillman joins Lance Briggs on
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    • 09/10/2013 - Tillman Intercepts Two Passes
    • 08/06/2013 - An Exclusive Insider Look at C
    • 07/31/2013 - Tillman on the ball at trainin
    • 07/24/2013 - Inspired by Blackhawks, Tillma
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    • 07/18/2013 - Bears' Tillman We're not in a
    • 06/24/2013 - Bears cornerback Charles Tillm
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    • 06/07/2013 - Tillman's ProBOWLer benefit a
    • 04/24/2013 - Tillman wins third Brian Picco
    • 04/04/2013 - Tillman supports heart organiz
    • 04/03/2013 - Tillman's 33 interceptions by
    • 03/28/2013 - Tillman Donating $3,000 grant
    • 03/21/2013 - Breaking down Tillman's 39 for
    • 03/20/2013 - Fencik appreciates Tillman's b
    • 03/05/2013 - What did '03 draft guides say
    • 02/27/2013 - Vikings coach calls Tillman "a
    • 02/20/2013 - Tillman's character drew Golde
    • 02/13/2013 - Bears 9-0 when Tillman scores
    • 02/04/2013 - Tillman wins Salute to Service
    • 01/31/2013 - Tillman: Pro Bowl gives servic
    • 01/30/2013 - Outside the Game: Daughter’s i
    • 01/25/2013 - Tillman enjoying Pro Bowl expe
    • 01/23/2013 - Tillman a finalist for Byron "
    • 01/22/2013 - Tillman chosen captain of All-
    • 01/15/2013 - Tillman a finalist for Salute
    • 01/10/2013 - Tillman earns prestigious NFL
    • 01/09/2013 - Tillman reacts to Lovie Smith'
    • 01/03/2013 - Tillman nominated for NFL Man
    • 12/28/2012 - Tillman voted to Pro Bowl for
    • 12/26/2012 - Another touchdown
    • 12/24/2012 - Tillman talks about Cardinals
    • 12/20/2012 - Charles Tillman Brings Christm
    • 12/19/2012 - Charles Tillman Answers Fans Q
    • 12/14/2012 - Charles on the Radio
    • 12/12/2012 - Charles Tillman Returns Back t
    • 12/06/2012 - Charles Tillman's Holiday Cele
    • 11/30/2012 - The Story Behind the Peanut Pu
    • 11/26/2012 - Tillman Pro Bowl Voting
    • 11/26/2012 - Peanut to Answer Fan Questions
    • 11/21/2012 - Members of '85 Bears impressed
    • 11/19/2012 - Tillman Stood Out From the Sta
    • 11/14/2012 - Tillman & Foundation Receive R
    • 11/09/2012 - Charles & Jackie presented wit
    • 11/09/2012 - BEARS CORNERBACK CHARLES TILLM
    • 11/08/2012 - Tillman bringing smiles to kid
    • 10/30/2012 - Photo Gallery from Charles Til
    • 10/26/2012 - Charles Tillman Returns Home t
    • 10/16/2012 - Chicago Bears Cornerback Charl
    • 05/19/2012 - Fifth Third Bank & Chicago Bea
    • 05/01/2012 - Charles Tillman’s Celebrity Pr
    • 04/18/2012 - Charles Tillman in "The Heart
    • 04/04/2012 - Charles' Locker Featured in th
    • 01/22/2012 - Charles Tillman is a Finalist
    • 12/08/2011 - Chicago Bear Brings Christmas
    • 12/06/2011 - Photo Gallery from Charles Til
    • 10/17/2011 - Charles Tillman's Celebrity Se
    • 10/15/2011 - Charles Named One of the Top 5
    • 07/20/2011 - Tillman Honors Mothers with Te
    • 07/18/2011 - Mixin' It Up With Charles
    • 07/15/2011 - Bears’ Tillman Scores with Sic
    • 06/24/2011 - Charles Tillman 5th Annual Mei
    • 06/16/2011 - Tillman Announces Celebrity Dr
    • 04/20/2011 - Tillman Family on Oprah
    • 04/15/2011 - Fans Suit Up with NFL Stars at
    • 02/28/2011 - Charles Tillman receives Fifth
    • 02/18/2011 - Charles Tillman Named to Bears
    • 12/14/2010 - Tillman Spreads Cheer with Hol
    • 12/13/2010 - Tillman's Celebrity Steak-Out
    • 11/15/2010 - Join Charles Tillman's Celebri
    • 10/13/2010 - Tillman Unveils Unique Locker
    • 09/20/2010 - Chicago Bears Turned in Their
    • 08/24/2010 - Charles Tillman and Friends Ce
    • 06/25/2010 - Tillman’s 4th Annual Meijer Ce
    • 06/16/2010 - Tillman Announces Celebrity Qu
    • 06/01/2010 - Meet Charles at Meijer June 2n
    • 05/24/2010 - Fifth Third Bank Welcomes Char
    • 12/22/2009 - Charles Unveils Two Unique Loc
    • 12/22/2009 - Charles Spreads Holiday Cheer
    • 12/09/2009 - Charles and his Family on CBS
    • 11/02/2009 - Charles Tillman Celebrity Stea
    • 10/26/2009 - Tillman Heads to Washington D.
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