Local sports heroes attend Chicago event to support concussion awareness, education and policy

Former Chicago Bear, Gary Fencik is on the advisory board and event committee for an Oct. 7 event sponsored by the Sports Legacy Institute to benefit the Chicago Concussion Coalition.

Former Chicago Bear, Gary Fencik is on the advisory board and event committee for an Oct. 7 event sponsored by the Sports Legacy Institute to benefit the Chicago Concussion Coalition.

On Monday, October 7, 2013, The Sports Legacy Institute, in conjunction with the Chicago Concussion Coalition, held their annual fall reception to benefit the Chicago Concussion Coalition’s efforts in educating, training and providing valuable resources to help protect student athletes and others from, and to reduce the number of permanent injuries caused by concussions and other various forms of head trauma.

A recent article in the Chicago Tribune, spotlighting the fall reception, focused on former Chicago Bears safety, Gary Fenick, a Chicago Concussion Coalition advisory board and event committee member, who was quoted as saying, “When I go to (Bears) alumni weekend games, no one is talking about their artificial knees or shoulders. They’re asking, ‘How many concussions did you have? Do you have any symptoms?’[i]” The article talks about Fencik’s children both suffering from concussions in high school and his time on the field with Dave Duerson, whose 2011 suicide may have been triggered by the posthumously discovered, “…chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease brought on by multiple concussions,” as reported by the Tribune article.

Professional athletes who encourage dialogue and discussion about traumatic brain injury help more players, parents and coaches spend time working on concussion prevention and education.

Professional athletes are celebrated heroes in American culture and being a tough player is often seen as an honorable trait. Encouraging tough sports icons to talk about injuries is challenging and organizations such as The Sports Legacy Institute and the Chicago Concussion Coalition increase awareness about injuries, that helps coaches, athletes, and parents engage in dialogue about sports safety because it appears more appropriate and popular to do so. Supporting the PR push for concussion education are sports celebrities who dedicate their time to such an important discussion topic, traumatic brain injury, and several local of those celebrities attended Monday night’s reception.

Members of the Chicago Concussion Coalition/Sports Legacy Institute with Chicago Bulls Bob Love at tonight's reception honoring families of those individuals who have sustained permanent brain injuries and/or who have facilitated the donation of injured brains to the Sports Legacy Institute's Brain Bank.

Members of the Chicago Concussion Coalition/Sports Legacy Institute with Chicago Bulls Bob Love at the 10/07/2013 Fall reception, honoring families of those individuals who have sustained permanent brain injuries and/or who have facilitated the donation of injured brains to the Sports Legacy Institute’s Brain Bank.

“As an active advisory board member and local counsel to the group, it was my pleasure to be involved in this most successful evening. The event was very well attended and featured numerous current and retired professional athletes including retired legends, Chicago Bulls, Bob Love and Chicago Bears, Hunter Hillenmeyer, Charlie Brown, Michael Jennings and others.” Attorney Michael V. Favia.

Monies collected from event participants supports research and education on concussion prevention and treatment.

The proceeds collected from this event support continued education and research necessary to protect athletes, the most vulnerable in our society, with respect to concussions. Net benefits of this event also include increased awareness of the education, research and policy objectives of the Chicago Concussion Coalition and The Sports Legacy Institute, among attendees.

Helping promote the event in advance and increasing awareness, Michael Favia, along with Chicago Concussion Coalition’s Caitlin McElroy, participated in an Internet radio interview in which they talked about the group’s mission, objectives and opportunities to increase awareness, and you can click/tap here to listen to the interview.

Michael V. Favia & Associates represent clients with sports injuries. With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburban meeting locations, you can schedule a meeting with an attorney at your convenience. For more about Michael V. Favia & Associates, please visit the firm’s website and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter.


[i] Chicago Tribune: Gary Fencik ready to tackle concussion issue. By William Hageman, September 29, 2013.

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