WESTERN SPRINGS, Ill. — While Philadelphia Eagles placekickerJake Elliot could spoil the beloved Bears’ playoff chances, he’s still remembered as a hometown hero in the western suburbs, where he’s worked to keep the memory of a murdered friend alive.
Elliot will always hold a special place in Brenda O’Laughlin’s heart. The kicker helped raise money for scholarships in memory of her daughter Kelli Joy O’Laughlin, a Lyons Township classmate and friend of Elliot who was murdered during a home invasion seven years ago.
“He’s a hometown person. He’s very grounded. For him to think about the Kelli Joy O’Laughlin Foundation during his big moment, it makes it very special,” Brenda O’Laughlin said.
After the Eagles went to the Super Bowl last year, Elliot helped raise funds for the foundation by promoting sales of shirts that fund the organization. The money pays for college scholarships, attendance at Camp Tecumseh for kids who suffer trauma, and holiday gift giving.
“I’ll root for him,” O’Laughlin said. “I hope he gets five field goals, but I hope the bears win by one.”