Adam Podlesh, punter for the Chicago Bears, recently visited Heineman Middle School (HMS) for “Kick-Off” Day of the school’s Hawks Care fund-raising event that focuses on cancer research and related programs.
Staley Da Bear and a representative of Bears Care were also at the event.
This year, HMS will join together with the Chicago Bears’ Bears Care program to provide funding to Chicago-area hospitals for medical research and health awareness programs focusing on breast and ovarian cancer.
As a cancer survivor, Adam Podlesh discussed his experience with cancer, his football career and how he maintains a healthy lifestyle. A question-and-answer period, along with a photo and autograph session immediately followed Podlesh’s presentation.
Prior to Podlesh’s visit, over 200 students donated $10 each for an opportunity to become a finalist in a school-wide punting contest to "Kick Out Cancer".
The nine finalists were determined in advance. Finalists include one boy and one girl from each grade level along with the next best punter:
Grade 6: Larry Rhyner, 122’; Katelyn Weidener, 102’ 5”; Kyle Sharp, 107’ (next best)
Grade 7: Jack Bessey, 102’ 2”; Emily Hill, 106’ 4”; Hunter Hackbert, 104’ 2” (next best)
Grade 8: Ben Marsh, 161’ 11”; McKenna Carbon, 121’ 8”; Josh Rodriguez, 159’ 9” (next best)
Had weather permitted, HMS students would have witnessed the final punts of the nine finalists and Podlesh would have judged the punts to determine the winner of 4 tickets to a Chicago Bears game with on-the-field passes. Instead, winners will be determined during physical education class.
Since 2006, students have raised over $100,000 through the Hawks Care program.
Game Day for Hawks Care will be May 30 at Heineman Middle School, located at 725 Academic Drive in Algonquin. All proceeds from the event will be donated to Bears Care. Online donations to support the school’s efforts can be made at www.events.org/hawkscare.
Source: District 158 press release