Here for Good – Fundraiser

Here for Good – Fundraiser

As we are all on hold for rugby, we still have a small need to raise funds for items like utilities, maintenance, payroll, and insurance. We have joined Jupmode Supply’s Here for Good campaign to support small businesses and non-profits.

Red t-shirt

Order this limited design Lions t-shirt and the Lions will receive $10 for every shirt sold. Buy shirts for the whole (extended) family! Note: sales are pre-sale, shirts will print and ship once the shop is allowed to reopen.

Lions Awards Banquet 2020

Lions Awards Banquet 2020

In February 2020, over 120 Lions players and supporters gathered to celebrate a historic 2019 at the Annual Lions Awards Banquet. The event was held at Hayden Hall, a beautiful new event space located in the Loop. The Lions enjoyed selections from six different restaurants as well as local beers and craft cocktails.

Hayden Hall

Thank you to Play Robin Hood for sponsoring the cocktail Hour, Betty Nguyen for DJing, and Colin Doyle for putting together a slide show of pictures from 2019. Congratulations to all of the award winners.

See the photos on our Facebook page »

2020 Lions Honors

Lowry Lion: Kevin Drewyer

Men’s 15s Player of the Year: Mike Ziegler
Men’s 15s New Lion: Jack Desmond
Men’s 15s Most Improved: Jovan Vazquez
Men’s 15s Coaches’ Award: Josh Williams

Women’s 15s Player of the Year: Aurora Macek
Women’s 15s New Lion: Katie Lohaus
Women’s 15s Most Improved: Danielle Berkowsky
Women’s 15s Coaches’ Award: Kelley Hirt

Men’s 7s Player of Year: Jake Hidalgo
Women’s 7s Player of Year: Amanda Berta

Community & Youth Volunteer of the Year: Clayton Miller
Lame Lion presented by Athletico: Kevin Lydon

See you next year!

Lions for Hope Sports Complex Update

Lions for Hope Sports Complex Update

We want to provide you an update as we have some exciting news to share as we continue the development of the Lions for Hope Complex. Construction on the West field has been coming along nicely despite the harsh Chicago winter and the rainy past few weeks.

We should have the field completed by the end of July and it will be named the J. Tyke Nollman Field.

We want to thank the First Fifteen, President’s XV and Captains VX  and other donors that have contributed to the Lions for Hope Sports complex that we will call home!

You can still join the team!

CogeoCogeo

At the end of March, we hired Cogeo, a firm specializing in organizational management and development for capital build-outs and initiatives.

Cogeo is a trusted advisor that will guide us to build a better, more professional organization as we continue to take our project to the public.

Most importantly, they will help us develop an effective capital campaign for the remaining phases (the building and East field) and our immediate needs.

There are two short-term projects that Cogeo will help us with:

  1. As we identify potential donors, Cogeo will help us develop the strategy to approach and gauge their interest in becoming engaged with us. We need your help in building out our potential donor list.
  2. Building out our steering committee. The committee is a group of individuals expected to help drive campaign activity by connecting us with their network. Being on the steering committee is not a big time commitment. Rather, these individuals will be engaged to make connections and help fundraising efforts.

If you are interested in learning more about the steering committee or helping in any capacity, please contact us.

Grey Lions at 50th Aspen Ruggerfest

Grey Lions at 50th Aspen Ruggerfest

Above: Chicago Lions Rugby group (click to enlarge)

The Chicago Grey Lions played in Aspen for the 50th Ruggerfest with a strong contingent of players and supporters totaling almost 75. Fortunately or unfortunately, we had more supporters than players. It was a beautiful weekend and we played our only two games on Friday. We started with close to 25-30 players for the first game at 9 a.m. against the Virginia Cardinals who normally travel with 45-50 players. Despite the early start, we played hard but gave a few long tries away and could not score ourselves. Players were dropping quickly and fortunately, we had Mark Kaufman and Paul Hadden of AthletiCo there to fix the injured… just like old times. However, we lost the game 0-17.

Playing in Aspen

Playing in Aspen

By the time the second game started at noon on the main pitch, we were down to about 18 players but picked up a few others. We played Mosman Rugby Club from Sydney, Australia, spending much of the game in their end with some high quality tactical kicking from hand and even took an early 3-0 lead on a Phil Olson penalty kick. We played much better in this game but still could not find the try zone and lost 3-15. In both games, all the guys played hard and earned the respect of the opposition. We had players from the following clubs besides the Lions; Milwaukee, South Side Irish, Louisville, Chicago Blaze. Thank you to those guys.

Paul Hadden and Mark Kaufman

Paul Hadden and Mark Kaufman of AthletiCo

Bill Marshall and Paul MycroftWhile some of us did go to play rugby, the majority went to enjoy the beauty of Aspen and spend time with old friends from all over the world. The Red Ski House was the Lions’ base with about a third of the people staying there. On Friday night, we had a team party with over 75 people. A special thanks goes to Mark Kaufman for funding this event and to Pat Bolger and David Skidmore for organizing. It was a great time with numerous past Lions Presidents in attendance.

Normally, Saturday is a rugby day but for us, it was a touring day with watching rugby, hiking, fishing, biking… and sampling the local beer. The day ended with a happy hour hosted by Paul Hadden, Tony Rio and Billy Marshall before people went out to dinner and more partying.

My last special thanks goes to Mark Sawicki and Mike Palmer for organizing the trip and rallying everyone. Mark did the recruiting of players and led us on the field. It was great to see Mark “ready to go to war” again, summoning his US Eagle playing days. Mike made sure we had plenty of water (and oxygen) and played hard as well.

As President of the Lions, it made me very proud to be a Lion this past weekend. The friendships and camaraderie that we established years ago are still strong across generations.

The pride of the Lions was on display all weekend and hopefully, rekindled everyone’s connection to the club. We have a great group of alumni and we all can be proud of the current coaching staff and players for continuing on with the tradition of all being Chicago Lions.

~ Jeff Simon

Jeff Simon

“A big thank you to the Lions!! Truly a great American rugby club made up of so many incredible personalities.” (Pat J)