How It Started

It all started on a golf course! What turned out to trying to get a bunch of friends together for a round of golf and to watch a little football became a foundation that is built to help brave little warriors with pediatric cancer and athletes at Saint Xavier University.

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Our Story

The Thomas C. Urso Memorial Foundation was created to honor the memory of local business and family man, Thomas Urso. Tom was diagnosed with cancer in 2001 and lost his battle on March 31, 2004. In 2008, with the help of his family and friends, they created the Memorial Foundation in conjunction with a golf outing to celebrate Tom's memory and to benefit Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation. Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation is a national organization dedicated to eliminating pediatric cancer and to providing hope and support to those who are touched by it.

We have had great support from our family and friends, met some new friends and have a second family in Bear Necessities. Due to the success of our fundraisers, the IRS has classified The Thomas C. Urso Memorial Foundation into a 501 (C)(3) organization. We are truly grateful for all of your support along the way!

The Thomas C. Urso Memorial Foundation has now grown to not only help Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation, but helps raise money to renovate Saint Xavier University's Urso Outdoor Sports Complex and awards a $1,000 scholarship to a SXU football player and now has added a female athlete for the fall of 2019!

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Honoring Our Father's Legacy

For the past eleven years, we have held the Thomas C. Urso Memorial Golf Outing to raise money for Bear Necesities Pediatric Cancer Foundation and we will be holding our sixth winter fundraiser with dinner and dancing for Bear Necessities, the Thomas C. Urso Memorial Scholarship and Saint Xavier University Athletic facilities.

THANK YOU to everyone who has attended, sponsored or donated an item or helped out at one of our events. Even though the Urso name is on the foundation, without you, all of this would not be possible!

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Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation is a national organization dedicated to eliminating pediatric cancer and to providing hope and support to those who are touched by it. Founded in late 1992 by Kathleen A. Casey, the foundation is named in memory of her eight-year-old son, Barrett "Bear" Krupa, who died after a courageous five and a half year battle with Wilms Tumor, a pediatric cancer. Their mission is carried out through two unique areas which include the Bear Hugs Program and the Bear Discoveries Program.

Bear Necessities has become like family to the Urso's. With less then 3% of all money raised for cancer research going toward pediatric cancer, we will continue to help them with their fight against pediatric cancer.

On March 10th, 2012 Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation awarded The Urso Family (Bear Cartage) with the 2012 William J. Casey Hope Award at The 19th Annual Bear Tie Ball held at the UIC Forum. The Hope Award is given in memory of William J. Casey's devotion, love and compassion for children with cancer. Bear Necessities established the award to honor both a corporation or organization and an individual who assist Bear Necessities in its critical mission to eliminate pediatric cancer and to provide hope and support to those who are touched by it.

The Bear Tie Ball was attended by close to 800 people and raised over $700,000 for Bear Necesssities in their fight against pediatric cancer. Attendees were treated to music, dancing, great speakers and a fantastic silent auction and raffles. On behalf of Bear Cartage, everyone involved with our golf outing and the Urso family, we are truly honored to be presented the Hope Award. We honestly believe it has been our pleasure and privilege to work with Bear Necessities and look forward to continuing our partnership with them.

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Tom's sons, Nick and Tony, transferred into St. Xavier after spending their freshman years playing football for Western Michigan University and Olivet Nazarene University. Tom was always willing to do whatever he could to help the football program and our family has always wanted to do something special in our dad's memory to benefit St. Xavier. That is when we came up with the idea to start a scholarship. The Saint Xavier University's Thomas C. Urso Memorial Scholarship was then created by the Urso Family and Tom's friend and business partner Shadow Mirkhaef. The $1,000 scholarship will be awarded for four years to a Saint Xavier University Football player who graduated from a Chicago Catholic school  and is based on grades, community service, leadership, overall good person and lastly but not necessary, athletic ability. In the Fall of 2019, we are awarding an additional scholarship to benefit a Saint Xavier female athlete that will be based on grades, community service, leadership, overall good person and lastly but not necessary, athletic ability.

Scholarship Award Winners:
-2016 Alex Martinez (St. Laurence High School)
-2017 Anthony Saro (Notre Dame College Prep High School)
-2018 Brian Beran (Notre Dame College Prep High School)
-2019 TJ Galligani (Providence Catholic High School)
-2019 Morgan Haefling (Hampshire High School)

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The Memorial Foundation also raises money to improve the athletic facilities at St. Xavier University for both men's and women's athletic teams. In 2013, with the support of the Urso family, Saint Xavier began to renovate their outdoor sports complex. In September of 2014 as part of the Homecoming celebration, the complex was renamed the Urso Outdoor Sports Complex.

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Event Registration, Sponsorships or Donations

If you are interested in attending, sponsoring or donating to our current event, please hit the button to the right to send you to our store.

Thank you for your support!

The Urso Family