Although it's Saturday, Olivet Nazarene University was buzzing with students today.
That's because the Bears hosted about 1,000 local children for a Back to School Fair.
Along with 35 community organizations, the Bears provided the children from low-income families a back to school kit and a number of important services, including dental care, physicals, immunizations, eye tests and hair cuts. In fact, Miss Illinois, an aspiring optometrist, performed a few eye exams with her tiara on.
Bears coach Lovie Smith, mascot Staley, and players such as Rashied Davis, Tommie Harris, Israel Idonije, Brad Maynard and D.J. Moore made appearances.
"It was a great success," said Marge Hamm, the director of Bears Care. "It was satisfying for people in the Bears family to see these kids get what they need. It was a special way to spend the day.
"It's all positive."
The Bears actually rescued this event.
Catholic Charities sponsored the Back to School Fair until state funding dried up two years ago. The Bears stepped up and now co-sponsor the event with Catholic Charities and Team Smile.
Last year, the organizations provided an estimated $300,000 in goods and services.