WRIGLEYVILLE — The Team Butkus foundation is holding a fundraiser tailgate Sunday where visitors can watch the day’s biggest games while supporting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
The Team Butkus Tailgate and NFL watch party for the Bears-Falcons game is 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday at Rizzo’s Bar & Grill, 3658 N. Clark St.
Food and drinks will be provided, and there will be raffles for items including a $600 bicycle, said Patrick McRaith, vice president for Team Butkus. Various athletes will be in attendance, including Blackhawks hall of famer Chris Chelios, who will sell autographed pucks as part of the fundraiser.
The event doubles as a fundraiser for the Illinois chapter of American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, which focuses on eliminating loss of life from suicide through education, research, outreach and advocacy. Tickets are available on the Team Butkus website.
“We hope people will come out for a really good cause and to make a difference in someone’s life,” McRaith said. “It’s going to be a fun day, and we’ll have all the games on, including the Packers game and the World Cup, which kicks off that day.”
Angela Cummings, associate area director for American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Illinois, said she’s excited about the event and the synergy between Team Butkus and her group. Partnering with organizations such as Team Butkus can help her group reach certain demographics, such as men.
“What some people don’t realize is that white males account for 70 percent of suicide deaths, and that’s predominantly the biggest demographic group that we have,” Cummings said. “So teaming up with Team Butkus for this event and anything going forward would be fabulous for us because it gives us another touchpoint with men who really need to be receiving this kind of educational information and understanding of what resources are out there.”
The tailgate falls on the weekend of International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, which is observed every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving to honor people who have died from suicide.
“This day is really set aside for those who have lost someone to suicide, so it’s about healing, shared connection and the complicated grief people can feel when the death is by a suicide,” Cummings said.
More information on International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, including a list of events happening across Illinois, can be found at SurvivorDay.org.
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