'Ron Santo Suite' raises money for diabetes research

April 4, 2012 3:32:10 PM PDT
The late Cubs great Ron Santo held three things dear: family, baseball and juvenile diabetes research. On Wednesday, the Westin Hotel Michigan Avenue dedicated a new suite to Ron Santo, Room 1000, which raises money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). His family helped decorate the 'Ron Santo Suite.'

"The pictures we picked out were, I think, special pictures that during his playing career ... that I know he enjoyed in life. And again ... the black cat. The famous black cat photo," Ron Santo Jr. said.

Memorabilia includes a Santo jersey from 1969, a video -- produced by Santo's son, Jeff -- "This Old Cub," which tells the entire Wanto story.

"Every time this suite is booked $100 of that suite will go directly to JDRF. Also ... $1000 will go to JDRF when the Cubs play at home and win that home game," Brent Menzel, general manager at Westin Michigan Avenue, said.

The suite rents for $600 a night.

"We know for sure he helped raised more than $60 million because that's really the net result of thirty four years going," Patrick Reedy, executive director, JDRF of Illinois, said.

The suite opens with photos from the 1960s and 1970s. A Hall of Fame, Santo style.

"It's a nice entrance for the fans to come in," Ron Santo Jr. said. "The Hall of Fame, yeah. It's such a good idea ... we'll name it that."