Friends of the Foundation. In our short 1 and ½ years of existence we have been so blessed to be able to accomplish more than we had ever dreamed, thanks to the wonderful kids of our communities, their parents and all of you who support the Will To Live Foundation!
Our motto of “For The Kids, Through The Kids, By The Kids” is a great one and the kids are rising to the occasion….Well, on Friday this week, April 20, 2012 – the Foundation will experience a wonderful “trifecta” of love hope and the Will To Live Here’s the three part Saga of Hope:
Part 1) About 2 months ago – I was asked to by a large Tier One customer to be the keynote speaker at their yearly “Executive Summit”. The speech will be centered around my experiences with the WTL Foundation and its effect on me and the community and the “power of positive in a negative world.” The audience will be approximately 100 or so executive level people from Fortune 500 companies… the good news is – they are all parents… Susie will be with me as I present our story of hope……
The date of this presentation is Friday April 20th, 2012
Part 2) About 6 months ago as the Foundation was really taking hold, I approached the school district of Atlanta – Fulton County Schools – about implementing a “Signs of Suicide” training program (SOS) – for all educators in Fulton County – I spoke to the School superintendent and his “counseling guru” – and they agreed to do this. The Foundation, using money generated by activities for, through and by the kids, will fund this program where faculty members from every Fulton County school (over 100) will go through this training in 2012 and hopefully many of them will incorporate a 2013 – SOS program for the kids… all paid for by the WTL Foundation.
We’ve partnered with a company in MA called “Screening For Mental Health” who are the “experts” who will perform this training. This in my opinion, is the foundation’s biggest accomplishment, a true “Circle of Hope”… kids being taught to both recognize share their love for each other – to communicate better and to help each other on and off the field… … teaching them to go together to “trusted adults” to insure they get help. Then using money generated by these kids activities (5k runs – Willstock type events, as well as donations) – to fund the training of these “Trusted Adults”… so the kids themselves will benefit.
The date of the first kick of training here in Atlanta is Friday April 20th, 2012
Part 3) Several weeks ago, I come home from work – exhausted to find a letter from the Boston Red Sox President, Larry Lucchino, addressed to me. He has asked me (and all the Red Sox ex-players) to attend the 100th anniversary celebration game against the New York Yankees. He will fly me up to Boston and put me up at a hotel for two nights – and ask that I partake in the Red Sox “Alumni” part of the celebration for that 3pm game against my good friend, Joe Girardi’s New York Yankees.
The date of the 100th anniversary game is Friday April 20th, 2012
As mentioned above, I will be in Pebble Beach with my lovely wife – spreading the message of life teammates – talking to adults about the importance of realizing just what their kids are up against today, and the importance of them showing the kids a message as simple as “I understand that your life is not easy”
Simultaneously – while I’m speaking in Pebble Beach… the teachers of Will’s school and all neighboring schools will be getting educated on the Signs of Suicide, AND in Boston – many of the Red Sox Alumni will be wearing “Life Teammate” wrist bands as they celebrate the 100th game – I have spoken with Joe Girardi of the Yankees, and former Red Sox stars Dwight Evans and Bruce Hurst (all Life Teammates of mine) and they are excited to receive the Life Teammate wristbands and a pamphlet we’ve just created to hand out to the players and alumni that day. Thus, I’m so proud to say that many on both sides of that rivalry will wear the “Life Teammates” band that in honor of a teammate who lost his son and with his wife and family and friends, has created a foundation to help kids understand that love is in their lives everywhere.
An exciting day indeed…. ….but more importantly I’m proud, and Will would be proud, that the reason I’m missing this once in a life time dream trip to Fenway is to spread his message of love and hope and increasing all of our Will To Live….
April 20th indeed … (sigh) I miss him…..