Ham driven to help bears help those in need
Story by Larry Mayer
Margeham was the co-captain of the first women’s basketball team at the University of Notre Dame. But another sport has always been her favorite.
As far as she can remember, when she was a five-year-old tomboy attending a kindergarten in northern New York, the longtime director of Bears Care, Bears’ charity, was obsessed with football.
“To be completely honest, football was my first love,” Ham said. “I watched all the New York Giants games with my dad. I had a football helmet. I asked for shoulder pads. [my parents] I will never buy me. But soccer was something I wish I could play at the time. When I watched the game, I loved the game. “
After her family moved to Birmingham, Michigan, on the outskirts of Detroit, Ham bought a Lions season ticket when he was in seventh grade. She recalls the brave cold and snow conditions when Lions sat indoors in the bleachers of Tiger Stadium before moving indoors to the Silverdome in 1975.
Given her passion for football, it’s no wonder Ham got a job in the NFL with Bears. But that didn’t happen until 2004, when she was looking for a second career. First, she graduated from Notre Dame University with a degree in accounting, passed the Certified Accountant Examination, and was hired by the accounting firm Pricewaterhouse.
After marrying her fellow accountant, Wardham, she eventually left the workforce, working as a housewife for about 10 years and raising three daughters. When her youngest child entered high school, Ham tried to get back to work-and found a position with Bears that she thought would fit perfectly.
“I felt it was a perfect fit for my skill set,” Ham said. “I felt I had a fairly broad knowledge of sports and football in particular. It was incredibly fascinating.”
When BearsCare was incorporated as a 501 © 3 organization in 2006, Hamm was appointed as its director. Ten and a half years after she continued her role, Bearscare…