Sep 16 2015

NFL and PGA Tour Players Join Forces to Compete and Raise Money for Charity

A CDW event hosted by the Chicago Bears brings together athletic star power, technology and charity.

Back in 1991, “ProStars” — a cartoon featuring the illustrated likenesses of the NBA’s Michael Jordan, NHL’s Wayne Gretzky and the MLB and NFL’s Bo Jackson as a crime-fighting superhero team like the Avengers — made its debut.

The tagline of this Saturday morning cartoon went like this: “ProStars, it’s all about helping kids.”

Although we’re firmly past the '90s and there was definitely no crime-fighting to be seen, a similar assembly of cross-sports superstars was gathered at the Walter Payton Center, the Chicago Bears' indoor practice facility, on Sept. 15 to compete in CDW’s Celebrity Skills Challenge. The event sought to raise funds for Folds of Honor, a nonprofit that provides educational support to spouses and children of America's fallen and wounded soldiers.

“Folds of Honor provides scholarships to spouses and children of our military members who’ve been killed or disabled defending our country,” says Folds of Honor Founder Maj. Dan Rooney. “We’re really blessed to have great supporters like CDW and the Bears to help us fuel their dreams. We have over 10,000 recipients, many here in the greater Chicago area, but literally from coast to coast and we’re able to provide a great education thanks to great supporters.”

PGA Tour players Camilo Villegas and Gary Woodland, Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould and former Chicago Bears defensive end Alex Brown competed in a series of stations designed to test each athlete’s skills in basketball, football and golf.

While the golfers did well in the golf chip shot station and NFL kicker Robbie Gould nailed the football passes station, there were some surprises. For example, PGA Tour player Gary Woodland’s three-point game was hot like fire.

Is Woodland wearing a Chicago Bulls jersey under his golf polo perhaps?

And although Villegas did manage to raise money during his time at the golf chip shot station, his first 30 seconds at the station proved more challenging than many might’ve anticipated.

But the man of the hour was definitely Bears kicker Robbie Gould, who proved that his hands are just as useful as his feet as he nailed pass after pass during the football portion of the challenge, which resulted in his raising $60,000 from that one station alone.

That golden arm helped Gould seal the deal as the overall winner of the CDW Celebrity Skills Challenge. The total dollar amount raised for Folds of Honor from the event was $114,500.

Although “ProStars” was a one-season '90s wonder, with the CDW Celebrity Skills Challenge combining sports, technology and charity to save the day, perhaps a 2015 revival with these PGA Tour and NFL players is in order.

Ricky Ribeiro

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