CHICAGO - The Chicago Bears are celebrating one of their biggest fans!
The team officially announced this week that Shameka Leach is their nominee for the NFL Fan of the Year award.
Leach, from Robbins, Ill., has actively supported and volunteered at Bears Huddle events, which are monthly community service volunteer activities to improve local communities.
The team says she has also attended Training Camp for the last two summers in Lake Forest and has been a regular participant at Bears watch parties.
In addition to supporting the Bears, Leach also plays an important role in organizing football camps and financial seminars for less privileged players from Robbins.
Leach learned of her nomination during a Bears home game on Oct. 22. Originally, she thought she was invited to the game by the Bears to act as an honorary referee during the halftime show, which featured Staley Da Bear and some of his closest mascot friends participating in a seven-on-seven flag football scrimmage game.
After the scrimmage concluded, Staley and the other mascots gathered around Leach and presented her with two large Super Bowl tickets, while the stadium announcer declared her as the Bears' 2023 nominee for NFL Fan of the Year.
"When I found out that I was nominated for the Fan of the Year award, I couldn't believe it because I was just being a big fan of my favorite team, the Bears!" said Leach. "I was just out there enjoying myself and having a great time with the mascots. But it's an honor and a privilege to represent my #1 team. Now I'm looking forward to sharing this experience with my community and having the opportunity to represent my team, my city and my state at the Super Bowl."
Leach will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Super Bowl LVIII in Paradise, Nevada, including two tickets and a VIP experience.
You can vote for Leach through Feb. 7 on the NFL's website.