Maryville to honor Bears’ McPhee
March 30th, 2017
Chicago Bears linebacker Pernell McPhee will be honored by Maryville Academy, the nonprofit that offers programming for troubled children.
McPhee will receive the Ed Block Courage Award as part of Maryville’s annual scholarship luncheon April 4.
The Bears player’s personal story lends itself to Maryville’s good work. McPhee grew up in the projects of Pahokee, Fla., with his grandmother. They lived in a one-bedroom apartment with as many as six people under one roof. McPhee has talked about sleeping on the floor many nights growing up.
The award is given in the name of the late Ed McCaskey, who was a vice president of the Bears. His widow is Virginia, whose father was George Halas, the former player, coach and owner of the Bears. Ed and Virginia’s son, Pat McCaskey, will attend the Maryville luncheon.
Maryville was started in the 1880s as a home for children who were orphaned or faced abuse and neglect. It evolved over the years to include a school and vocational training. Last year, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services pulled funding to focus on putting children in foster homes instead of a center like Maryville. The organization hasn’t stopped helping kids. Now it offers daytime programming for children and families.
The award will be presented by John Brdecka, a former Maryville resident and McCaskey scholarship recipient. Brdecka is now head of Print Collection Management at Northwestern University. Brdecka has two children and guardianship of a niece and nephew, who will all be at the luncheon.
You can find more information about the luncheon event on Maryville’s web site.