Chicago Bears visit tornado damaged Illinois town
December 5, 2013 (AP) – More than a dozen Chicago Bears headed to central Illinois to spend time in the tornado-ravaged community of Washington, helping with cleanup efforts and meeting the high school football team.
Players, including kicker Robbie Gould, had lunch with high school students, donned Panthers team T-shirts and met with the teenage players who took to the field just days after the storm to play in the state semifinals.
The (Peoria) Journal Star reports the Bears and several staffers then helped pick up debris. The Nov. 17 tornado damaged or destroyed about 1,000 homes in Washington.
Bears corner Sherrick McManis grew up in Peoria and says the damage is so bad “you feel it. Everything is destroyed.”
Bears Chairman George McCaskey also visited Washington last month to assist with recovery efforts.