The Last Stand
A Standing Ovation For Dick Butkus
As we grieve the loss of our beloved founder, Dick Butkus, the Butkus Foundation invites you to join us in celebrating his remarkable life, enduring legacy, and unwavering generosity. This defining moment serves as a powerful catalyst to carry his torch forward, ensuring that the values of health, sportsmanship, and dedication continue to inspire future generations. Through donations, we ask you to join us to embrace the responsibility of stewarding Dick’s unwavering vision, ensuring its impact resonates for years to come.
Butkus Foundation Mission
The Butkus Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is devoted to promoting health and wellness for people of all ages. It focuses on encouraging heart health during middle age and instilling a respect for personal health in younger individuals. The Foundation’s core mission is to inspire a deep appreciation for one’s own well-being and health, emphasizing the importance of self-care and health consciousness across different stages of life. We welcome donations from individuals, trusts, and corporations, as well as corporate partnerships.
1111 S. Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL 60605
Check Comment: “butkusfoundation.org”
The foundation, dedicated to the spirit and legacy of Dick Butkus, focuses on anti-steroid education, cardiovascular wellness, and other critical health issues facing both young and old people alike. By donating, you become a crucial part of a community that is determined to inspire positive change, encourage healthier lifestyles, and empower all generations to reach their fullest potential. Your support is not just a gift—it’s an investment in a healthier, brighter future for everyone. Join us in this noble cause, and let’s make a difference together!
Butkus Takes Heart
“Butkus Takes Heart” is an initiative focused on raising awareness about heart disease and promoting cardiovascular wellness.
Butkus X NFLA
The Butkus Award
The Butkus Award is a prestigious accolade in American football, named in honor of the legendary linebacker Dick Butkus. Established in 1985, it is awarded annually to the top linebacker at the high school, college, and professional levels. The award recognizes exceptional performance, agility, and a dedication to the game that reflects the spirit of Dick Butkus himself. The recipients of this award are considered among the best at their position and frequently go on to have successful careers in football.
The relationship between the Butkus Foundation and the Butkus Award embodies a blend of honoring athletic excellence and promoting broader social and health-related causes, particularly in the context of youth sports. Through the prestige and visibility of the Butkus Award, the foundation leverages its platform to raise awareness and advocate for healthy and ethical practices in sports.
The Butkus Takes Heart™ initiative, a visionary project of the Butkus Foundation, stands as a beacon of hope, urging early cardiovascular assessments for American adults. This call to action is rooted in the sobering fact that nearly 700,000 individuals fall victim to heart disease annually in the U.S., a number echoing the fullness of 10 football stadiums, with half of these individuals tragically unaware of their condition. Heart disease reigns as the stealthy yet predominant cause of death in the nation.
The life Dick Butkus was dramatically saved in 2001 thanks to a routine screening that revealed a critical need for a five-way bypass. In honor of this life-saving intervention, the clinic near St. Joseph Hospital, which played a pivotal role in identifying Butkus’ perilous heart condition, was aptly renamed the Dick Butkus Center for Cardiac Screening. This center has since become a sanctuary of prevention, conducting thousands of screenings and discovering that approximately one in five individuals require medical intervention. The program has since expanded to other NFL cities. (Click here to see the list!).
With a vision as expansive as his legacy, Butkus dreamed of propelling millions of adults towards a nationwide network of clinics and providers, equipped to offer free or affordable screenings. His goal was not just to spread awareness but to empower every individual to understand their heart’s health and proactively manage their unique risk factors, thereby transforming the landscape of heart disease prevention in America.
The vision has progressed thanks to the work of Dr. Lawrence J. Santora. Lawrence J. Santora, MD, FACP, FCCP, FACC, is a highly skilled consultative cardiologist practicing at the Dick Butkus Center for Advanced Cardiac Imaging in Orange, California. He is a founding member and managing partner of the center, established in 1994. Dr. Santora specializes in preventative and interventional cardiology, including coronary stenting, as well as in cardiac CT, focusing on CT angiography and coronary calcium screening using EBCT. He is board certified in cardiovascular computed tomography.
The Butkus Foundation and the NFL Alumni Association (NFLA) have teamed up to promote public awareness about health and obesity. In this partnership, the Butkus Foundation takes on the role of player advisor for NFLA-endorsed wellness initiatives. Together with other NFLA alumni, they actively promote the importance of addressing obesity and the need for proper medical guidance among former NFL players and the general public. Statistics indicate that approximately 40% of American adults and over half of the NFL Alumni face challenges related to overweight, a condition that can have significant health consequences.
The Butkus Foundation’s “I Play Clean” initiative was launched by Dick Butkus in response to his concerns about the use of performance-enhancing drugs among teen athletes. Shocked by the casual attitude of high school athletes towards these drugs, Butkus initiated a national movement to address this issue. He reached out to coaches, athletes, and parents in 15,000 leading high schools, holding rallies and speaking at statehouses. He even testified before a U.S. Congressional committee. Butkus, who played before the steroid era, emphasizes the importance of playing clean and encourages young athletes to commit to a career free of illegal performance enhancers.
The Butkus Foundation’s “I Play Clean” initiative continues to be an active part of their work. The Foundation maintains a strong stance on this issue. Every high school and collegiate nominee for the Butkus Award® is required to certify that they adhere to the principles of playing clean and commit to a career free of illegal performance enhancers. This ongoing requirement underscores the Foundation’s dedication to promoting fair play and health among young athletes.
C/O Matt Butkus
1111 S. Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60605