LAKE FOREST – Meet the new “Monsters of the Midway,” coming soon to a 5,000-square-foot video board near you.
Mundelein sixth-grader Vito Romanos joined nine other young Bears fans brought together recently by Advocate Health Care for an unforgettable day at Halas Hall, including an opportunity to meet and take photos with the team.
Vito arrived at the official Chicago Bears training facility with his grandparents in tow to star in a video feature that will play before the 61,500-strong Soldier Field crowd during games this upcoming season.
Vito, who receives care at Advocate Condell Medical Center for low muscle tone and a rotated left femur, has never let anything get between him and football. He currently plays football for the Wauconda Bulldogs. One year he even played middle linebacker, just like his idol, Brian Urlacher.
The group enjoyed a tour of the practice facilities and received a special visit from Chicago Bears Chairman George McCaskey. After lunch in the players’ café, Vito and the rest of the group headed to the sidelines to catch the end of practice.
That’s when head coach Matt Nagy waved the young fans over for a surprise meet-and-greet with every Bears player on the field. The group dished out some high-fives, took photos and even collected some autographs.
“I’m so glad I have my mohawk spiked today,” Vito said. “The players liked it and wanted to keep touching it.”
The day also was a good bonding experience for Vito and his grandpa, who Vito said might be “the biggest fan we know.” Vito’s grandpa Joe became teary-eyed over the experience and enjoyed being a part of it on the sidelines, just as much as Vito did getting to be a part of it.
“One of the most meaningful ways we put our sports partnerships to work is by planning these memorable, exhilarating moments for so many of our patients – often our youngest at Advocate Children’s Hospital,” said Kelly Jo Golson, chief marketing officer of Advocate Aurora Health, of which Advocate Children’s Hospital is a part. “It’s a chance for them to forget about their illness and just be kids.”