CHRISTMAS WITH THE BEARS

George McCaskey

The frenetic final week was illustrative of an action-packed, highly productive first semester at Leo High School, where God’s presence is a constant. We are reminded of that on a daily basis, as more and more good things keep happening.

On Dec. 17, Leo staged its third annual Christmas gala for needy families from the Auburn Gresham community, in conjunction with Bears Care, the charitable arm of the Chicago Bears. Leo provided the venue and the families, with input from local grammar schools. The Bears took care of everything else, including Santa Claus, a face painter, a balloon sculptor, a sit-down dinner and an array of useful gifts ranging from clothes to toys and sports equipment for each family. 

Bears Chairman George McCaskey and his wife Barb were among the celebrants, along with Pro Bowl cornerback Kyle Fuller and starting offensive lineman Charles Leno and Bobby Massey. The mere sight of the mountainous 6-foot-7, 340-pound Massey left some of the younger guests wide-eyed in amazement.

All told, the Bears and Leo made Christmas a little brighter for more than 50 families.

“We very much value our partnership with Leo because it gives us a strong presence on the South Side, where a lot of our fans are,” McCaskey said. “We feel blessed that the Bears are  able to help some deserving families enjoy Christmas a little more.”

“We always try to be good neighbors within our community.” Leo President Dan McGrath said. “Thanks to Bears Care, this was as productive and meaningful an event as we’ve been involved in. To see the smiles on the faces of the kids…it was an honor to participate.”