Custom-designed shoes to be presented to Kaneland student before Chicago Bears game

Four years ago, a chance encounter in a coffee line sparked a friendship.

The people involved in that conversation, John Tarpey, vice president of security for the Chicago Bears, and Kaneland High School football student manager Charlie Krupka, established a "Bears Bond" that's unbreakable.

They exchange messages before and after games, celebrating victories or commiserating over losses, always with their eyes fixed on the future Super Bowl that will surely be "next season."

Charlie, who recently received his varsity letter, has a passion for football that he hopes will become a career.

Easterseals has played an instrumental role in Charlie's journey, granting him the physical independence he enjoys today.

To show their support for Charlie and Easterseals, Tarpey and his family custom-designed shoes that will be presented to Charlie on the sidelines before the Dec. 10 Chicago Bears "My Cause, My Cleats" game against the Detroit Lions.

These shoes are not just a fashion statement but a symbol of our unwavering support for Charlie, and the noble cause of Easterseals DuPage and Fox Valley, a beacon of hope providing pediatric therapy and mental health services.

The shoes are Nike Air Force 1, inspired by Charlie's Kaneland Knights football team. They feature Charlie's number and likeness in his football jersey and the Easterseals DuPage logos.

Plus, they have a motivational quote from John Madden: "Don't worry about the horse being blind; just load the wagon!"

If you'd like more information about Charlie and these causes, visit

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