While playing soccer when I was 11, I was called for a ‘hand ball’ inside the penalty kick area. The player scored and we lost the game. I was devastated. I went home and cried. My mom comforted me by telling me that things would be ok and that I should always remember how I felt for when other people make mistakes.
Recently, a 12 year old athlete cost his team not just a game but their entire season, due to a clerical error when he registered. He was 37 days too old (Story here) Now THAT would be devastating. They were 8-0 and had won their first playoff game handily. To top it off, the club pulled their funding to a game they had set up to play a team in Minneapolis, MN.
I’m proud to say that a close friend of Keener Jerseys, Jeffrey Bannon, along with Eagles coach, Dean Lytle, stepped up and helped the team raise money to make their trip. Within a week Jeffrey had coordinated a pancake breakfast fundraiser (which was delicious, thanks #CanadaInns) silent auction and promotional t-shirts.
Donations and support came from all over. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Blue Bomber Alumni Association and Canada Inns, even Blue Bomber great Milt Stegall helped the cause. I was floored when a client of ours Dennis and Mike from the South Shore Saints out of Staten Island, New York City rallied a group in their community and bought t-shirts to help the kids in Winnipeg. No questions asked, they just said, ‘we heard about your problem and ‘Boom’ they were in. Wow. The South Shore Saints and East Side Eagles are now forever linked. Talk about being proud. When Keener and I started this business we had no idea that we could help bring people together in this way.
At the end of the day life happens. People make decisions. Sometimes they are right and sometime they are wrong. I certainly feel for the young man but it is through adversity that we grow. Look at how much good came out of this challenging situation, as former #WinnipegBlueBomber, Jayson Dzikowicz & President of the Blue Bomber Alumni pointed out, ‘because their team was kicked out of the playoffs, a team that wouldn’t have been in the playoffs was now getting an opportunity to play! He was right, what a cool thing for those kids. Way to go everyone for stepping up. Good luck the Peewee Eagles team this weekend and most importantly: Have the time of your life!