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Heart of Gould
Elaine Doremus | Photo: Paul Elledge | January 3, 2013
The Bears’ top placekicker makes his mark on—and off—the field.
Robbie Gould, the Chicago Bears’ most accurate kicker in team history, is an easygoing, humble guy with a big heart. “I wanted to put my fame to better use,” he says. That’s why the soon-to-be-wed, 30-year-old Long Grove resident recently founded The Goulden Touch (gouldentouch.org), a charity that helps those in need in the areas of health and wellness, social service, medical research and education.
“I always had a heart for doing charity work and a desire to form my own,” says Gould. “But my heart doesn’t lie in one place. I wanted my mission to be simple so we could capture everyone in the community.” This broader approach allows the organization to raise awareness and funds in many areas depending on where there is need. “It keeps my board more motivated, because their hearts [also] lie in different places,” he adds. Recently, The Goulden Touch partnered with Northern Illinois Food Bank to raise funds for those who don’t have access to meals on weekends. This spring it will host the second annual golf tournament featuring celebrity players.
Gould believes that both his upbringing and adversity in life have given him perspective on his success. “I grew up in a blue- collar family, and learned the value of working hard,” he says. Gould’s father was a postal worker and his mother a schoolteacher.
After playing football at Penn State, Gould was cut by both New England and Baltimore after short stints with each team. Disappointed, but undeterred, he returned to his construction job in Pennsylvania until he got the call from the Bears in 2005. The rest is history in the making.
“I feel very fortunate to play the sport I do, in the city I do,” says Gould. “I want to be a role model in the right ways.” Not only is Chicago a city where he’d like to spend many more years, but a place he hopes his off-the-field efforts will earn him more recognition than his jersey number (No. 9, of course).