It has been a few days since my last post and it’s scary to think that as I write this Thanksgiving is less than a week away!
We have definitely been blessed with some good weather for this time of year and I know my old body certainly appreciates it at football practice every day, although last night was chilly and the first snow of the season is on the ground! Fortunately, the St. John Fisher College Cardinals received one of only six at-large bids for the NCAA Division III Playoffs and we are excited to play the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays in the first round of playoffs this Saturday, November 19th at 12:00 Noon in Baltimore.
As many of you know, part of my job as an Assistant Football Coach at St. John Fisher College is to work with the kickers, punters, holders and snappers. So, with that in mind, Laura shared with me something from her friend, Brendan, who is the Special Teams Coordinator – Tight Ends at Northwestern State University of Louisiana – we liked it so much, that I shared it with the players at practice and I am sharing it with all of you…it’s a good little piece of advice…
In life, like football, sometimes you just have to punt. A job, a goal, a girl, a relationship, a friend, a dream, etc; sometimes it just isn't working and it comes time to punt...but life would be much easier if, like football, there was a scoreboard that told you the exact situation so it would be obvious whether or not it was time to punt...and while I am at it I would like 3 timeouts each half of life too!
I also serve as the Huddle Coach for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Huddle at Fisher and we meet on Wednesday evenings, right after practice. Each semester I try to choose a book that we can read and discuss together, that demonstrates the role that faith plays in life and athletics. I could not have picked a better book this time – Coach Wooden: The 7 Principles That Shaped His Life and Will Change Yours - we finished the book on Wednesday night and everyone truly enjoyed it.
On Wednesday evening I also had the opportunity, as I do each fall, to attend the Teddi Committee’s Dance for Love Meeting at Fisher. The only tough part is that their meetings start at 9:30 PM…only on a college campus do meetings begin that late! It was great to see so many kids on the committee and their excitement and enthusiasm. This coming February 17 & 18, 2012 will be the 30th Annual Dance for Love at St. John Fisher College. The Dance for Love is a 24-hour dance marathon, held on campus from 8:00 PM – 8:00 PM. As Camp Good Days has just begun our 33rd year, the Dance for Love has been a part of our culture and family for nearly all of our history. The support from the students, alumni, faculty, staff and administration has been and continues to be amazing. I am so excited that Dr. Lou Buttino, Professor – Film Studies Department at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, who helped to start the Dance for Love when he was a professor at Fisher and is also the author of For the Love of Teddi: The Story Behind Camp Good Days and Special Times, will be returning to Rochester for the Dance for Love. We are also thrilled that Lou Gramm, of Foreigner fame, will serve as the Honorary Chairman. Lou is a very special person and someone who supported the Dance for Love early on and has always been supportive of the children and families at Camp Good Days. I am sure many more exciting details will be revealed in the weeks and months to come and for more information about the Dance for Love, check out http://home.sjfc.edu/teddi/.
Earlier this week I had the chance to meet an old friend for breakfast. I first met Mary-Beth Cooper when she was working at St. John Fisher College many years ago. Mary-Beth is now the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs at the Rochester Institute of Technology. It was great to catch up with her and we are exploring ways in which the student athletes at RIT can help to share the message and help generate additional awareness for CANCER MISSION 2020.
In regards to CANCER MISSION 2020, our one-year anniversary of launching this important initiative is just two weeks away and we are busy working with the Congressional Offices on drafting legislation as a result of the recommendations that came out of the Congressional District Cancer Summits, as well as finalizing a CANCER MISSION 2020 Report. To keep up-to-date on our progress, and to join us as we work to put an end to cancer by the end of the decade, please check out www.cancermission2020.com, sign the petition and share it with your network.
In other news, the dormitory building being constructed at the Recreational Facility is coming along great! It has been amazing to see this all come together so quickly and they are making great progress. I know it is going to mean a lot, to a lot of people, when we have the official ribbon cutting next spring.
We are also very busy putting the final details into place for the Annual Joe Benet Memorial Kazoo Fest, which begins next Friday, November 25, 2011. We will have Kazoo Fest tables set up in the Greater Rochester area at the mall entrance to JC Penney at Marketplace Mall, Greece Ridge Center Mall, and Eastview Mall, as well as at the Walden Galleria Mall in Buffalo, Carousel Center Mall in Syracuse, and The Shops at Ithaca. The Kazoo Fest goes through Friday, December 23, 2011 and the tables are open on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and will be open Monday through Friday the week of December 19th. Please stop by and visit our Kazoo Fest locations – we have some great gifts and stocking stuffers; you can sign the CANCER MISSION 2020 Petition; as well as pick up some information about our programs, services, and volunteer opportunities. Volunteers are still needed at all locations, to help make this another successful Kazoo Fest! Volunteers can choose their preferred location, date and time to help out. Kazoo Fest volunteer shifts are only three or four hours so if you are looking to give back this Holiday Season, we are always looking for some good volunteers. You can get some of your shopping done before or after your shift and at the same time, you will know that you are helping us to provide some good days and special times for some very special children and families in our community! If you or someone you know is interested in helping out with this fun and important fundraising event, please contact your local Camp Good Days’ Office for more details (Rochester: 585-624-5555; Buffalo: 716-206-0709; Syracuse: 315-434-9477; Ithaca: 607-266-9180). The Kazoo Fest Volunteer Form can also be found on our website, www.campgooddays.org.
Today I am looking forward to meeting Doug Randall for lunch. Doug was recently elected to Monroe County Court Judge and I have had the chance to work with him through Project Exile and Project T.I.P.S. Doug has served as a representative for the Project Exile Advisory Board from the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, which has been a key partner in Project Exile since its implementation 13 years ago. Doug has also been a part of the many Project T.I.P.S. (Trust, Information, Programs & Services) events that we have held. Although we will miss him as part of the Project Exile Advisory Board, I am confident that his wealth of experience and his commitment to the community will ensure that he is a welcome addition to County Court.
This coming Monday, I am meeting with Sandra Doorley, who was just elected as Monroe County District Attorney. Sandra is the first female District Attorney in Monroe County history and she has also been an active partner with Project Exile, Project T.I.P.S., and a strong supporter of CANCER MISSION 2020. Sandra has big shoes to fill as District Attorney, but I am confident that she will continue the good work of her predecessor, Mike Green, and I look forward to continuing to work closely with Sandra and the men and women of the District Attorney’s Office, in our efforts to make our a community a safer one in which to live, work and raise a family.
There are many ways that you can stay up-to-date with all that is going on here at Camp Good Days. Check out our websites, www.campgooddays.org and www.cancermission2020.com; follow us on Twitter; become our fan on Facebook; and tune in to “Good Days and Special Times” our Radio Show which I co-host with NEWS10NBC Anchor, Rich Funke. The show airs the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 PM on WYSL NewsPower 1040AM and 92.1 FM. You can also get the podcast of the show at www.wysl1040.com.
As we approach this special time of year, I would like to thank all of you for all that you have done, in big ways and small ways, to help Camp Good Days accomplish all that we have for the children and families we serve. I wish each of you a very Happy Thanksgiving and a season filled with good health, peace, happiness and much love!