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Tillman supports Needy Family Fund
October 24th, 2013

Since creating the Cornerstone Foundation in 2005, Charles Tillman has helped impact the lives of over one million Chicago-area children. But his charitable efforts don’t end there. 

The Bears cornerback supports other causes, like the Sister Paulanne Needy Family Fund that’s operated in conjunction with the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Parish in Glenview. 

Tillman recently attended a fundraiser for the Needy Family Fund at the Glenview Grind Coffee Shop, where he signed autographs, posed for photos and drew the winning raffle ticket for a 51-inch Samsung television. 

“When you think about a class act you think about Peanut Tillman,” said Perry Mandera, owner of the Glenview Grind. “With all the things that he and his family have been through in their lives, for him to come and spend some time and help a charity, you can’t say anything more than class act.”

Mandera and his wife Frances helped raise nearly $4,000 for the Needy Family Fund by selling $1 raffle tickets. Amazingly, the randomly-selected winner of the TV, Joe Fragassi of Glenview, was the only person in the establishment wearing Tillman’s No. 33 Bears jersey. 

“Sometimes it’s meant to be, and that was meant to be,” Mandera said. 

It was difficult to tell whether Fragassi was more excited to meet Tillman or win the television. “I’m a huge fan,” Fragassi said. “He’s always been my favorite Bear.

I think he’s got a great attitude. He’s really competitive but he’s also respectful and I would say he’s the heart of the team. “I told him I didn’t buy [the No. 33 jersey] today. My girlfriend got it for me last Christmas because she knew that I had wanted one for years.” 

Sister Paulanne was very grateful to Tillman for supporting her fundraiser.

“I think it’s awesome,” she said. “He has such a busy schedule. For him to come out and be a part of this is incredible. He’s a very generous person.” 

Sister Paulanne has been part of the OLPH parish for 50 years. Her Needy Family Fund has been helping families in Glenview and throughout the Chicago area for more than two decades. 

Among those helped by the charity are people who are out of work and can’t pay their bills, single mothers who receive no child support and families with young children who lose their father. 

“Sister Paulanne helps people in need, so we want to help her,” Mandera said. “We’ve done that for many years just as residents here and now we’re doing it with the Glenview Grind. We’re going to do monthly raffles and support local charities and teams, giving back to those who need it.”

Dozens of people attended the fundraiser, including Glenview resident Raechel Langenbach, a member of the OLPH parish who was happy to support Sister Paulanne. 

“She has a heart of gold,” Langenbach said. “She’s just a wonderful woman with a great heart and great spirit. All the charities that are run for OLPH are extremely important. We pride ourselves on being a parish that really tries to help as many needy families as we can.”