Thursday, July 22, 2010

Good Deed #19: Sachem Pride

It's almost been a decade since my last home football game as a Sachem. I remember vividly those last moments as well as many of the events that day. These memories of mine will forever share a special place heart. It's been quite sometime since I've seen a game from the bleachers. But like being on the field, I remember how much joy the "Friday Night Lights" atmosphere brought to me. More importantly though over the years it has brought a small NH town together. And while I probably overestimated the support we had back in my playing days, I know that there has always been a real sense of community that has come to support the Sachems year after year. There is something magical in those lights. The band, the cheerleaders, the smell of popcorn, the sound of cleats as they march up the concrete from the locker room through the back gate.

I shared some of my favorite high school memories with the guys I played football with. It was amazing to look around the huddle and see the faces of people you grew up with. There was such a sense of security and comfort knowing that no matter what, those guys had your back. What a great feeling!

What I always thought was most important though was the fact that no matter what one's social status or income, we all came together both on and off the field. Football is certainly an equalizer. On the field there is little room to fake performance. You can either hit or get hit, catch the ball or drop it, run fast or get caught. From a fan perspective there were few disigenuous spectators. I'd challenge an alumnus who didn't know the school song that was played after each touchdown, "Rah, Rah for Ole' Laconia!"

There is something very near and dear to my heart in the backyard of 345 Union Ave. One day I look forward to going back and watching the next generation of Sachems take the field. I hope when they grow up they will have as fond of memories as I and other former Sachem alumns have today.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Good Deed #18: Sending a Care Package

In the past five years I have seen many of my closest friends head off to what we in the military affectionately call the "sand box." It has become so commonplace to see my friends go off on their 2nd, 3rd and 4th tours that I forget the significance of their sacrifice. Yesterday I decided to get out of the routine of just accepting deployments as a fact of life. For the first time I sent out a care package (sad huh?) It was long over due. This care package represented all of the boxes that should have been sent out but never were. It was a reminder to myself of how precious life is and how thankful I am for those who are keeping mine just as I like it. The contents in the box aren't too significant but the meaning behind it is. I know that in a year when my name gets called for a deployment I will welcome care packages not because of what's inside but because who it came from.

For those of you who follow my blog and don't know where to send care packages to I have plenty of friends and contacts who would be more than happy to receive a box filled with goodies! Feel free to contact me and I'll get you in touch with them.

Good Deed #17: Racing for Reasons

There's an old addage that you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with. If that's the case, then it's safe to say that I'm walking down the right paths in my life. Like myself, many of my friends have chosen race for some type of cause. Perhaps it is because I am enduring my own marathon training (i.e. the time committment, the sore limbs and exhaustion) that I relate to them more so then if I were just an average spectator. As I support them 100%, I realize that they are my friends because of their hearts and what they stand for. When my friend Steve told me that he was partnering with Team in Training for the Luekemia & Lymphoma Society I eagerly awaited for his letter to come in the mail so that I could contribute to his cause. His letter was remarkably well written and one that deserves the attention of this blog. His goal is to complete an Olympic distance triathlon (1 mi open water swim, 25 mi bike and a 6 mi run). His goal is to raise $2900 and knowing the person he is I have no doubt that he will make that goal a reality. On September 12 I will once again eagerly await to hear from Steve and get the results.

If you would like to donate to Steve's goal please visit his Team In Training page!

Good Deed #16: Texting for the Gulf

I realize that I have missed the entire month of June and so in an effort to play catch up I had to think of an easy and effective way to make an impact on our world. No sooner after giving it some thought did I look at my phone and see a text message from my sister who had been watching the telethon on CNN for the Gulf asking me to donate via text. On an average day I probably text several times to friends and family and on weekends it's my primary method of communication. Her request required no more effort then what I do normally and therefore no excuse for not doing it. For those of you who have solicited money from me for a charity or cause you already know that I would never turn one down. At this moment and with the magnitude of the oil spill effects of the Gulf Coast, all I could think about is how man is slowly destroying mother earth. Technology is often blamed for one of the reasons why we are polluting our environment. Ironically, in this instance it is a way to help it.

I know it sounds like an easy way out to uphold a pledge, but nevertheless, the money that I donate to such causes gives me a sense of satisfaction that I did something thoughtful for an area where others had been so reckless. The opportunities to contribute are right there. It doesn't take skill, courage or time to help out. All it takes is 10 seconds out of your day.

By texting GULF to 50555 you will have made a $10 donation to help Waterkeeper Alliance and Save our Gulf. 100% of your donation will go to these two nonprofits who are working to alleviate the effects of the oil spill in the gulf.