Robert “Bob” Sheehy has a knack for recognizing those in need and an equally valuable gift for rallying others to answer the call with him.
Sheehy’s philanthropy inspired Leo High School to recognize him with its most prestigious honor. Sheehy, a 1971 Leo graduate, received the Leo Lions Legacy Award for lifetime achievement at Leo’s fourth annual scholarship benefit at the Four Seasons Hotel on December 3.
And, Sheehy was just another golfer on Wednesday, Aug. 7, when the Leo Alumni Association hosted its annual golf outing at Gleneagles Country Club in Lemont. Sheehy’s modesty masks the hard work he puts in behind the scenes at Leo and elsewhere.
A longtime member of the Leo Advisory Board and its current president, Sheehy played a pivotal role in devising and implementing the strategy that enabled Leo to keep going after the Christian Brothers of Ireland severed ties to the school in 1992. He has remained involved with school leadership ever since.
“Bob embodies ‘Facta non Verba,’” said Leo President Dan McGrath. “He has been a great help to me since the day I started working at Leo. Not many people have contributed as much to Leo over the years and in as many ways as Bob has. This award is a fitting acknowledgement of what he has meant to us.”
Sheehy is the fourth recipient of the Leo Lions Legacy Award, following Andy McKenna, Class of ’47, Bill Conlon ’63 and Tom Owens ’54. Alumni from the 1940s, ’50s, ’60s and ’70s are now represented.
A standout receiver for the Lions, Sheehy continued his football career on scholarship at Purdue University, graduating in 1975.
He and his brother, Jim Sheehy, Leo ’77, operate Robert J. Sheehy and Sons Funeral Homes in Burbank and Orland Park.
Sheehy’s philanthropy extends well beyond Leo. A conversation with like-minded friends provided inspiration for a group now known as The Mulliganeers, a non-profit dedicated to raising the trajectory of needy people’s lives throughout the Chicago area, especially when children are involved.
Rather than respond individually to those in the throes of misfortune, The Mulliganeers decided to pool their resources and find strength in numbers until many hands made for light work.
“We each recruited 10 guys and got more,” Sheehy said. “The amazing thing was so many guys knew each other. We knew we were on to something.”
With a mission to provide assistance for those in need, The Mulliganeers have raised $5.7 million and helped 392 families out of hardship since 1995.
“The Mulliganeers exemplify all of the great qualities that are Bob Sheehy,” said Ed Kearney, a 1973 Leo graduate and Mulliganeers board member. “In turn, Bob exemplifies all that is great and generous in the mission of The Mulliganeers.
“Where ever Bob Sheehy bring his talents, he does a masterful job of utilizing everyone’s talents and bringing people along and into the fold who can contribute to the mission.”