Giving Back

Ariel Cheung | October 19, 2018 | Feature National

Chicago Bears linebacker Sam Acho raises money for his family's nonprofit with Celebrity Waiter Night—and you won't want to miss it.
Chicago Bears players Mitch Trubisky, Sam Acho and Akiem Hicks at last year's Celebrity Waiter Night.

Chicago Bears linebacker Sam Acho hosts his third Celebrity Waiter Night at Steak 48 Oct. 29 (6:30 p.m.). Acho and his teammates will serve a three-course meal from one of the city’s top steakhouses while raising money for his family’s nonprofit, which provides free medical care to people in Nigeria. Here, we catch up with him about the affair.

Modern Luxury: What do you love most about this event?
Sam Acho: What’s fun for me is to have all my teammates, our general manager, our coach, all come together to help what we do in Nigeria through Living Hope Christian Ministries, a nonprofit my family started about 30 years ago.

ML: How does the money raised here help people in Nigeria?
SA: We were able to open up a medical center last year, which is pretty awesome. Because people come to this event, [those in need] can get surgeries done, they’re getting hernias removed. People who never understood what a checkup was, they’re going for checkups. People who would have died at 30 years old are now living until 50 or 60 because of the support from people at this event.

ML: Will you and other Bears players be signing autographs?
SA: We have this little contest to be the Most Valuable Waiter, so guests get pretend money and can tip their waiters—we’re all competing for the highest tips. So if you want an autograph or a photo, it’s going to cost you.

ML: Being a professional athlete is a full-time job. Why divide your focus for things like charity events?
SA: Because I’m more than just a football player. Before I played, this is what I was doing, and after I play, I’ll still be doing this. I think it’s easy to get caught up in your job, but I’m more than just that. I’m a husband, I have three kids, I’m a member of a church. I think people miss out when they confine themselves to just one thing.

ML: It must feel great to get to see the tangible result of your work in Nigeria. Tell us about that.
SA: When I’m working with Living Hope Christian Ministries and serving the people in Nigeria, I just feel like I’m home. My parents were born and raised in Nigeria. So I feel like I’m doing what I was called to do.

Tickets $450; tables from $5,000, Oct. 29, Steak 48, 615 N. Wabash Ave.,


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