Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 10/19/12
Professional athletes, for the most part, live their daily lives without having to stress about surviving financially. Thanks in large part to the Chicago Bears, one Lake Villa family will be able to live with a little less financial burden.William Chris Pettry was murdered in the early morning of Oct. 7, in Jacksonville, where he had planned to watch his beloved Chicago Bears take on the Jacksonville Jaguars later that afternoon.Pettry, the sole provider for the family, had his throat slashed in a local Jacksonville bar. He leaves behind his wife, Karen, and three children. The Bears enjoyed their bye week this past week, but numerous team members stepped up to help the Pettry family. Kellen Davis helped organize a fundraiser at John Barleycorn’s in Wrigleyville Saturday night.Pettry’s wife was overwhelmed by the support from a group of strangers.“This is the party he would have loved to have right here,” Karen said in an interview following the event. “He may not be here physically, but he is here in out hearts.”Davis was joined at the fundraiser by offensive tackle Chris Spencer and former Bears fullback Jason McKie. Davis made a personal donation of $10,000. Bears memorabilia ranging from autographed helmets to autographed jersey’s highlighted the auctioned-off items. One spokesman for the Wrigleyville establishment confirmed an estimated $50,000 was raised in person Saturday night, while another $50,000 was raised with online auctions.Hundreds of Bears fans and Pettry family supporters came out to John Barleycorn’s to make it a successful night.Brandon Marshall has also reached out to the family and told the family not to worry about finances that they would be “taken care of”. Davis has also set up a website for fans to make addition donations to the Pettry family (See link at bottom of story). As of Thursday night a total of $19,000 in donations has been made.“As a Chicago Bear, I would like to support this family in anyway I can by passing along an easy way to donate whether it‘s $5, $10 or $100,” Davis said in a statement on the website. To make a donation click here.Bears chairman George McCaskey has also noted the organization has also reached out to the Pettry family for support in other beneficial ways.TRAVIS DAVID is a contributor for FOOTBALL NATION and can be reached at tdavid021@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @Tdavid_21.
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