|Posted on October 30, 2015 at 9:20 AM|
(All opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author. In no way does this reflect the opinions of members of the Tri-C Youth Athletic Board or any others affiliated with the program.)
After four weeks and over sixteen pages of putting words on paper, this is a very condensed version of a few of my reflections. How does one sum up twenty-seven years of being involved with an organization? Not sure that is truly possible to say thank you to so many who have made this opportunity, that was given to me, one of the most special experiences, one could ever imagine.
If I had to use one word to describe my involvement with this program I would say "fun." Yes, there have been times when things were less than perfect, however, those are a very, very small minority of my memories.
Change is something to be embraced. It is one of the very few things that can be regarded as a constant. The only way one can grow is through change. We should always look to the future, but, only, by using the past and lessons we have learned as our guide.
Tri-C Youth Athletics has shown itself, time and time again, to be one organization that has accepted a role greater than a mere youth sports organization. It is one of a very few organizations that offers a variety of sports. Look around at any other community and it may take you a long time to find one that offers baseball/softball, basketball, flag football, tackle football, and volleyball. Actually, at one time soccer and cheerleading were offered, too. Most all other groups support only one activity and often conflicts arise in communities due to this.
This organization is one that has always tried to weigh and consider the impact on children and their families before making decisions. Some conflicts in life are inevitable, but careful and concerned planning has been an important goal.
It should be noted that there never has been a situation where any child is turned away for a lack of financial resources. A fund was established a few years ago to ensure that every child, regardless of circumstances could play. This program is for ALL the children that reside in the Tri-C area.
Beyond that has been a commitment to help make the entire community stronger. In recent years, funds have been raised, through a wiffle ball tournament, which provided a scholarship for a graduate of Carterville High School.
Also, we have been involved in food drives and taken part in Christmas in Carterville. Members have served on the Tri-C Elementary Advisory Council and worked in helping fund a number of projects for the schools.
Needless to say, this organization has received great support from the communities of Cambria, Carterville, and Crainville and the teaming of work with the schools has been outstanding. It is obvious to me and should be to anyone, that this organization is blessed to have the support and positive working relationship with both the schools and community governments.
Over the past few years, it has been an honor to be recognized by my peers and other organizations in the community. Those honors or recognition mean a lot to me, but a greater honor has been my association with a great number of people, whom I would not have met, had it not been for Tri-C Youth Athletics. It would not surprise me that, over the years, I have met probably as many people as the entire current population of the Tri-C area, due to my association with this fine organization.
I do know that I served with 108 people on the Tri-C Board. I do know that I supervised, at least, 236 umpires or referees and I do know that I coached 51 teams of 268 players (89 of which multiple times). Working with the above is the greatest honor one could ever receive. That, along with watching smiles on children's faces, will always give me a great feeling that will live inside me forever.
Forgive my reluctance for not giving special recognition to some individuals that I have a great fondness, for fear of neglecting someone or making this much too wordy a piece. Many of you already know by now the positive feelings I have for you.
Tri-C Youth Athletics, also, offered me an opportunity to write this column, for over ten years. We covered a wide range of subjects, not just limited to youth athletics, but high school, Collegiate, and professional sports, as well. We discussed issues of many varied subjects, not only relating to sports. My Top Ten lists were hopefully found to be thought provoking and sometimes humorous. No doubt, organizing the World Series, Super Bowl, and NCAA Basketball contests was fun for me. Have to believe many had fun with it and saw a greater bond develop between those involved with Tri-C. To those who took the time to read the Insider, I truly appreciate it and hope that you found it to be interesting, informative, and enjoyable.
Please, indulge me to at least say how much I appreciate Martha allowing me to be involved in something that I passionately loved for so long. Further, my children, who while being a great portion of my love for Tri-C, supported my efforts to be involved with others in the community in excess of a quarter of a century.
Tri-C Youth Athletics was a superior organization before I became a member. It is hope that my involvement did something to improve upon or at least maintain that high standard. Further, it is my hope that those currently on the board and those that will follow, will always keep in mind why certain established practices are in place and to always ask "why" before looking to re-invent the wheel. Please, also, be kind, understanding, and respectful of others. If these things be true, the organization will remain strong. There are a number competent and caring people still on the Tri-C Board. Those individuals deserve the communities support. It remains my belief that some of the best years are ahead for Tri-C Youth Athletics.
As we are told in Ecclesiastes, there is a time for everything. It is a blessing that I had my time with this organization and that I was allowed to share some time with you and your children.
It is impossible for me to sign off the last of my Insiders without reminding each of you:
Until next time,
Hustle, and always
Use your “noodle.”
Lastly, if I may, I would like to leave all, a most sincere and heartfelt, Thank Youuuuu!!!!!