Chicago Bears safety Craig Steltz joined team mascot Staley 'Da Bear' at the Midtown Athletic Club in Palatine on Tuesday to lead children through a series of exercises and emphasize the benefits of leading an active, healthy lifestyle.
Steltz stayed on to sign autographs and pose for photos with some of his team's young fans during the 90-minute clinic that taught kids about the importance of nutrition and staying active.
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"We want kids to understand the basics of drinking water, getting enough sleep, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle," said Tony Janca, general manager of the Midtown Athletic Club. "It's fun and it's interactive."
The event served as the official kickoff for the 11th annual Midtown 5K Run & Walk to benefit Bears Care, a program that uses a football theme to teach students four downs toward scoring a "touchdown for a healthy life."
The Bears are an active supporter of the Midtown 5K Run & Walk, which will takes place at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at the club, 1760 N. Hicks Road.
The event has raised more than $250,000 for Bears Care, the official charity of the Chicago Bears. Bears Care is committed to improving the quality of life for people in the Chicago area, especially disadvantaged children and their families through programs supporting education, youth athletics, medical research and health awareness.