When Sam Acho played for the Chicago Bears (2015 to 2018) he was active in the community with a number of charitable ventures, and his sense of giving back to Chicago hasn’t stopped even though he no longer dons the Navy and Orange.
His latest positive contribution to the city was leading a group of current and former Bears, as well as other prominent athletes from Chicago, in purchasing a liquor store in the Austin neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago.
They raised $500,000 to buy the liquor store so they could tear it down and build a grocery store in it’s place. The new grocery store will only be one of three in a half-mile radius and it will be operated in partnership with By The Hand (BTH) – a non-profit which is adjacent to the event site.
The demolition started yesterday in an event attended by BTH youth, police officers, the Mayor, several athletes, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
“The cool thing about having Roger here, having the Mayor here, having the Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department here and having over 12 athletes from all the different Chicago sports teams and other athletes who are just from Chicago who are on different teams in the NFL, MLB etc. is that people care.” Sam Acho said yesterday at the event. “It’s a time for people to show up. I think our world has changed. So for us to be able to come together and say we’re going to lead that change, it means something.”
The Bears were represented at the event by general manager Ryan Pace, and current players Mitchell Trubisky and Charles Leno Jr., and former Bear Israel Idonije. Other donors with ties to the Bears were Chase Daniel and Nick Kwiatkoski.
For more on the event you can check out the promotional materials below.