Tuxedo junction: Zach Miller dressed for occasion at Bears Cares Gala

Posted on 20 May 2017

Chicago Tribune

By Terrin Waack

 

It was a special outfit for a special occasion.

Tight end Zach Miller pulled out all the stops for the 22nd annual Bears Care Gala. His tuxedo's lining had an action shot of himself next to the event's logo. It was all in color and filled the entire inside of his jacket. Definitely custom-made, definitely fitting.

"It's a cool organization, very good foundation to help people," Miller said Saturday. "It's just something that's fun to be a part of. It's special to be a part of — an honor."

Over the years, the Bears Care Gala has raised nearly $14 million. That money goes toward Chicago-area research and treatment programs for breast and ovarian cancer, with an emphasis on aiding survivors.

The reality is, that's all that can be done right now as the fight against cancer remains at large.

"Hopefully one day we can get rid of that terrible disease," Miller said.

Until then, events like Saturday will continue to be held. Athletes will continue to be a voice.

That is, if they choose to.

Without the help of the entire organization, Fencik doesn't think Bears Care would have granted as much money as it has. He appreciates everyone putting in the effort and helping make a difference, especially the athletes themselves.

Those are the people — the public figures — who have the biggest influence anyway, regardless if they realize it in the moment. Eventually, they will.

"As a parent, it really hit me a lot more than when I was a player," said Fencik, who was a Bear from 1976-87. "If you really take a look and you play long enough, you know — whether it's in college or pros — just what a role-model opportunity you have."

Bears Care, a 501(c)3 organization, was originally formed in memory of legendary Bear Brian Piccolo, who succumbed to cancer in 1970. Its main focus is still cancer, but Fencik, the president of the Bears Care board of directors, has broadened the cause to help any disadvantaged family in the Chicago area. Recently, there has been an extra emphasis on military families.

Both Miller and Fencik had items available in the gala's auction. Miller's winner will be fitted for a custom suit and attend a private cocktail party. Fencik's winner will be treated to a dinner at Piccolo Sogno.

The prizes are great and all, but what really matters is where the funds are going: the people not bidding. That money is ultimately going to a better place.

"If you can make someone happy, that's what I'm about," Miller said.

 

Original article here.

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