The Cradle Blog

Statement from The Cradle on the Passing of Gale Sayers

On behalf of everyone at The Cradle, we offer our sincere condolences to Ardythe Sayers, the Sayers children, and the rest of the Sayers family for the passing of Gale Sayers. 

Adoption through The Cradle impacted the Sayers family in a very personal way.  As a well-known and loved Hall of Fame Chicago Bear running back, Gale Sayers was a recognizable icon.  By lending their names to The Cradle in 1999 in connection to our African American Center for Adoption – which then became the Ardythe and Gale Sayers Center for African American Adoption – they increased the number of African American families interested in adoption in the early 2000s.  Recognizing the need to give expectant women of color a greater choice of adoptive families, the Sayers Center focused on adoptive parent recruitment within the African American community. 

The Sayers Center Program continues today as part of The Cradle’s domestic adoption program and is one of the only programs in the country that promotes adoption awareness specifically within the African American community.  The goal of the Sayers Center program at The Cradle is to educate the African American community about the process of adoption and to provide ongoing support, and opportunities for connections, to all families who have adopted African American or Biracial children.  It is without question that the continued growth of and interest in the Sayers Center is related to Gale Sayer’s name being attached to this program.

Over the years, Gale Sayers visited The Cradle for various family and community events and gatherings.  So many still recall how his presence and genuine kindness would bring smiles to the faces of so many of all ages.  Today, many connected to The Cradle and the Sayers Center are sharing their appreciation of his warmth and kindness as they remember him fondly.

Gale Sayers will be missed by many.  He leaves a lasting legacy at The Cradle through the Ardythe and Gale Sayers Center for African American Adoption, and this legacy will live on for generations to come.

For more information, please email: Kim Perez, President & CEO, The Cradle