After making many impactful plays for the Bears over the years, cornerback Charles Tillman was rewarded for his contributions off the field on Saturday when he was announced as the 2013 Walter Payton Man of the Year.
“I'm grateful to be the recipient of such a prestigious award,” said Tillman in a press release. “Walter Payton's legacy continues to be a beacon of service and giving, and I'm just trying to do my small part. I don't think any of the finalists do what they do to get recognition, but we do it because we are passionate about helping others."
Tillman started his Cornerstone Foundation in 2005 to help ill Chicago-area children in numerous ways through a handful of programs. “Charles’ Locker” provides chronically sick kids access to entertainment devices such as iPads, DVD players and portable Play Station game systems. One of his other programs, “Field of Dreams”, helps kids live out their sports-related wishes.
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Tillman was a finalist for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award in 2011 and won the NFL Salute to Service Award in 2012. He's the fifth Bear to win the award and first since 2000 when Jim Flanigan won.
The 11-year veteran recorded three interceptions for the Bears in eight games and is set to be a free agent this offseason.
Check out some of the reaction from his teammates
Congrats to @peanuttillman for winning the Man of The Year Award!!!! What a blessing!!!— Tim Jennings (@HennOrJenn26) February 2, 2014
Truly blessed... Bringing Walter home.— Charles Tillman (@peanuttillman) February 2, 2014