CHICAGO — Former Chicago Bears tight end Greg Olsen is participating in another Kicks for a Cure Charity Kickball tournament in Grant Park, 337 E. Randolph St., on Saturday.
The 12th Annual Kicks for a Cure charity event is being hosted by C.H. Robinson, benefiting Receptions for Research: The Greg Olsen Foundation. Last year, $180,000 was raised for the foundation at the event.
This is the annual event's twelfth year; it's Olsen's fifth year being on board. The event is the world's largest charity kickball tournament. So far, 70 kickball teams have signed up to play in Grant Park's 16 softball fields. More than 1,800 attendees are expected to attend the family-friendly event that is from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
The teams are at capacity, but people can still attend and watch. The day pass is $50 and includes food, drinks and access to the beer tent. The spectator pass can be purchased online or on-site using cash or credit.
Olsen said he entered a team with some of his friends and this year Bill and Giuliana Rancic, who have their own reality-TV show on E! News are participating. Both Matt Forte and Brian Urlacher have participated in the past.
All proceeds will go toward Olsen's foundation, which has the mission of helping doctors and researchers get the resources they need to improve the lives of those living with cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Olsen said this is important to him because his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was going into his junior year of high school. Today, she is a breast cancer survivor, but he hasn't forgotten the challenging journey he and his family embarked with his mother.
"It was hard, it was a trying year," he said about the first year after she was diagnosed in 2001. "It was difficult seeing my mother go through something like that. [My brother and I] were young, but yet old enough to see the struggles and understand the impact it had on our family and the impact it had, especially on her."
He said he and his brother would always talk about making a difference if the opportunity presented itself. His foundation launched in 2009. The motivation behind it was his mother. His foundation raises funds for mainly local cancer organizations and charities, with breast cancer as the focus.
Olsen encourages everyone to come out on Saturday.
"Once people play one time, they can’t wait until next year," he said.
Here's what attendees can expect:
· Large kids' activity area complete with bounce houses, face painters and cotton candy
· The city’s second-largest outdoor tent housing the Goose Island & Mike’s Hard Lemonade beer garden
· More than 45 food and drink vendors including M Burger, Goose Island beer, Gatorade, Quaker food products, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Driscoll’s Strawberries and Krusteaz Pancakes
· Music from DJ Firm and an after-party at Joe’s on Weed Street
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