FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 5, 1999
CHICAGO -- Governor George H. Ryan and Illinois First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan have joined with Marshall Fields to donate 1,000 PJ Huggabee Bears to the Walter Payton Foundation.
"Walter Payton meant a lot to the Chicago Bears and to the people of this state. His excellence on the gridiron was admired by everyone who enjoyed football," said Ryan.
"Yet the greatest measure of this man was the contributions he made off the field. And that legacy is continuing through his family. For them to think of others at this time of great pain and grief is a testament to the love and character of the Payton family.
"We are touched to be able to contribute to Walter's favorite cause."
The Payton family asked the public to bring a new toy to the public memorial service for the Hall of Fame running back who passed away on Monday. The Walter Payton Foundation makes a donation of new toys to the "Wishes for Santa Program" benefiting children in foster care.