FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: (August 25, 2019)

The departure day and time has been changed to September 1st at or around 5pm. For GPS tracking information, please visit

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – On September 2nd, Charles Tillman, former Chicago Bear, and Jacob Beckley, an Innovation Executive, will row 65 miles, non-stop, across Lake Michigan in a homemade boat to benefit the fight against childhood cancer.

On behalf of the Cornerstone Foundation and the Beckley Foundation, Tillman and Beckley will depart from St. Joseph, MI at/or around 3:00pm and plan to make landfall at 31st Street Harbor the next day, approximately 20-24 hours later. The public and media is welcome to greet their arrival.

“While cancer has touched all of us, it’s particularly ugly when it rears its head towards children,” Tillman said. “This row is a reminder of the strength it requires for these incredible kids to defeat their disease.”

Tillman is a 13-year veteran of the NFL, two-time Pro Bowler and recipient of the 2013 Walter Payton Man of the Year award. He has seen firsthand what long-term illness can do to families financially and emotionally, and through grants from his Cornerstone Foundation, hospitalized children and their parents are empowered to focus on healing instead of worrying about financial obligations.

Beckley, who is neither a former superstar defensive back nor an athlete whatsoever, previously completed the row in 2016 to benefit neuroblastoma research. Seeing the effects of childhood cancer on families, Jacob has dedicated his life to enabling breakthroughs in research through his Beckley Foundation.

Having completed construction of their boat and a rigorous training regimen, Tillman and Beckley are ready to hit the water.

According to Lisa Drost, a parent of a child currently battling neuroblastoma, their journey means the world.

“For me, This row is about hope. Hope that another child never suffers the cruelty of cancer. Hope that another parent never has to experience the terror of hearing the words ‘your child has cancer.’”

100% of all contributions to Row4Kids goes directly to each foundation’s work to serve kids and families. For more information, please visit


Contact Information:

Charles Tillman
Cornerstone Foundation
939 W North Ave. Suite 750
Chicago, IL 60642

Jacob Beckley
The Beckley Foundation
1188 Hillcrest Lane
Woodridge, IL 60517