Just days after Cole Kmet helped out in all areas of the offense, in the Bears’ win against the Vikings, it turns out he brings all sort of gifts to the team, including his interest in meeting — and promoting — special athletes.

Chicago Bears tight end Cole Kmet autographs a T-shirt for special athletes. (Photo courtesy of the Chicago Bears)

Earlier this month, Kmet was named as an ambassador for Special Olympics Illinois, The announcement came one month after Kmet met personally with a group of 10 special athletes from Northwest Suburban High School District 214. They traveled to Halas Hall in Lake Forest, where they toured the Bears’ training facility and spent time visiting with Kmet.

“Playing professional football for a team in the city where I grew up is pretty special,” Kmet says. “So, when I think about how special this is, I also think about how grateful I am to be able to have this life. Giving back and showing up is a part of the gratitude that I have. I cannot be grateful and not show up in the community. It continues to be an honor to lend my support and show up for causes like the Special Olympics Illinois.”

The nonprofit organization offers year-round training and competition in 18 sports to a community of more than 55,000 traditional athletes, young athletes, unified partners, coaches and volunteers.

“Special Olympics Illinois is thrilled to welcome Cole Kmet as a new ambassador for the organization,” said Pete Beale-DelVecchio, President & CEO, Special Olympics Illinois. “Cole has shown strong passion and commitment to our mission and has  fit perfectly into our community. Through his partnership, we will continue to celebrate the extraordinary potential within all our athletes, expand our community, and spread the message of inclusion.”

The partnership Beale-DelVecchio mentions is through Kmet’s participation in the NFL’s My Cause My Cleats program this season. Kmet’s custom designed cleats will be donated to the NFL Foundation and auctioned off after this weekend’s games, with proceeds benefitting Special Olympics Illinois.

Cole Kmet stays in touch with his former coach and teacher at Saint Viator, Fr. Dan Hall, CSV

As an ambassador, Kmet will use his high profile visibility as a tight end for the Bears to to highlight the organization’s athletic, leadership and volunteer programming statewide.

Special Olympics points out that Kmet, a Lake Barrington native, first connected with this special needs community as a teen, volunteering for local nonprofits serving individuals with intellectual disabilities.

He learned to serve others as a young student at St. Anne School in Barrington and at Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights. In fact, his new role as an ambassador for Special Olympics seems to reflect the emphasis on service at Saint Viator, where administration members say: “Through service, students discover the joy of helping others and realize their role as leaders in their communities and in the world around them.”



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