Bears cornerback Charles Tillman will host his third annual Celebrity Pro BOWLer Tournament at 6 p.m. this Thursday at Kings Lanes, Lounge & Sports in Rosemont.
Each of the first two events raised $160,000 apiece for Tillman’s Cornerstone Foundation, which provides opportunities and resources for children and their families in need.
Tickets for the Pro BOWLer Tournament cost just $25 and include unlimited food.
Current and former Bears who participated in last year’s event included Anthony Adams, Rashied Davis, Matt Forte, Chris Harris, Tim Jennings, Johnny Knox, Patrick Mannelly, Shea McClellin, Jason McKie, Adrian Peterson, Craig Steltz and Major Wright.
Others on hand included Jarrett Payton, the son of the late Bears legend Walter Payton; and former NBA star Antoine Walker, a Chicago native who attended Mount Carmel High School.
The host of the event for the third straight year, Kings Lanes, Lounge & Sports is an expansive bowling, billiards, dining and cocktail venue that’s located in The MB Financial Park at Rosemont, a major new entertainment complex that is home to eight other restaurants and clubs.
“What makes this event very special is the support that I get from the community,” Tillman said at last year’s gathering. “I’m not a resident of Rosemont, but the Village of Rosemont shows me a lot of love when we have our events out here—and not just Rosemont but Kings itself.
“They are an organization that really wants to be a part of the community that they’re in. We’ve partnered together for two years and it has been a beautiful partnership. They stand for all the same things that we stand for at the foundation, so it couldn’t be better.”
The relationship was evident earlier this year when the establishment honored Tillman for being named the 2013 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year by dedicating lanes 3 and 4 to him.
“The NFL is recognized worldwide for what it does for the community,” Kings CEO Frank Stryjewski said at the time. “So with his peers in the NFL recognizing Charles and also his special connectivity to Chicago and Walter Payton, honoring him like this is just something that we wanted to do to say thank you to Charles for all that he’s done and also for what he’s done for Kings.”
Tillman created the Cornerstone Foundation in 2005 initially to provide children with educational opportunities and resources to excel in the classroom. But after his 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.
Since its inception, the Cornerstone Foundation has impacted over one million Chicago-area children and raised over $1 million. The programs that will benefit from the funds raised Thursday night include “Charles’ Locker,” “Field of Dreams,” “Holiday Celebration,” “TendHER Heart Luncheon” and “The Tiana Fund.”
Charles’ Locker gives children and their families access to iPads, notebook computers, DVD players, portable PlayStation game systems and other electronic handheld games to pass the time during recovery and treatment.
Field of Dreams provides magical memories to chronically and critically ill children and their families by fulfilling sports-related wishes and vacation dreams.
The Holiday Celebration takes place each December when Tillman and his wife Jackie visit a local hospital to pass out gifts, visit with families and partake in activities to spread holiday cheer.
The TendHER Heart Luncheon, which was held last weekend, honors mothers of chronically and critically ill children for the sacrifices they make in caring for their sick kids.
The Tiana Fund provides assistance to economically at-risk families. The support is intended to strengthen their ability to care for themselves, enhance their stability and security, and improve their quality of life or their ability to contribute to the community.