Chicago Bears CB Charles Tillman has been recognized as one of three finalists for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award is the only league award that recognizes a player’s off-the-field community service as well as his playing excellence.
In 2011, Tillman’s hard work on the field helped him earn his first career Pro Bowl selection, while off the field his work continued to impact hundreds of children, families and charities.
Tillman’s passion to help others led to the inception of the Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation in 2005. Since that time, his efforts have impacted over 1 million Chicago area children and raised over $1.2 million. His Foundation began by providing children with educational opportunities and resources to excel in the classroom.
In 2008, Charles’ three-month old daughter was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy. She received a heart transplant and is now a healthy and active little girl. Consequently, the Cornerstone Foundation changed its mission to improve the lives of critically and chronically ill children throughout Chicagoland by providing support and life changing experiences.
Aside from the large impact through his foundation, Tillman is also the official spokesman for the Donate Life campaign through the Illinois Secretary of State’s Organ and Tissue Donation Program while supporting such charities and organizations like the International Children’s Heart Foundation, Mended Little Hearts, the USO, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Your Dollar Our Future and Urban Promise. The Tillman family has also supported youth athletics in Barstow, California, helped provide financial support for families in homeless shelters and donates Bears season tickets to organizations throughout the Chicagoland area.
Tillman was voted by his teammates as the Ed Block Courage Award recipient in 2008 and twice voted as a Brian Piccolo Award winner (2003 and 2008).
The nine-year NFL veteran finished the 2011 season with a career high 113 tackles, three interceptions, four forced fumbles and two interception return touchdowns. He is the Bears all-time leader in career interception return touchdowns (five) and since entering the NFL in 2003 is tied for eighth in the league in interceptions (30), sixth in interception return yards (535), tied for fourth in interception return touchdowns (five), tied for eighth in passes defensed (110) and seventh overall and first among defensive backs in forced fumbles (28).
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