Bears set up web site and auction to help aid tornado victims

Written By Sun-Times Wire Posted: 11/20/2013, 04:39pm

As part of the relief effort to help victims of the tornados in northern Illinois last week, the Bears have established a website ( where fans can donate money and participate in an auction of Bears-related and game-worn items, including Julius Peppers’ jersey, Brandon Marshall’s pants and the coin used for the overtime coin flip.

The St. Louis Rams have donated a 16-person suite for Sunday’s game against the Bears at the Edward Jones Dome. The suite includes tickets to the game, food and beverage, 16 pre-game passes. The  Bears and Bears Care will match all donations and auction proceeds dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000, team spokesman Scott Hagel said.

Bears coach Marc Trestman wore a “Washington Panthers” t-shirt at his press conference Wednesday in support of the unbeaten Washington (Ill.) high school football team, which will be playing Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin in the Class 5A semifinals at 1 p.m. Saturday in Springfield. The Bears players also will be wearing “Washington Panthers” t-shirts prior to Sunday’s game against the Rams.

‘‘We just wanted to do something as an organization to let them know that we support them and wish them well,’’ Trestman said.

On Tuesday, Bears kicker Robbie Gould headed a group of current and former Bears players that traveled to Coal City to provide support and deliver food, water and supplies to the American Red Cross to aid victims of the tornadoes in that area.

‘‘There’s a long road ahead. We want to do everything we can to help support them,’’ Hagel said.