It always seems long between the times I write to you, and as usual many things have transpired professionally and personally. We have kicked things up into high gear as we are rolling through Spring Training and about 2 weeks out until the summer season starts.
So far this year is looking very promising, program enrollment is on track to surpass last year by 25% or more, volunteerism is up by 15% or more, and financial support is growing in the areas of individual giving and grant making.
This week the world took another step closer to seeing the passing of an era of legends in sports through the retirement of Kobe Bryant. When you think of that generation of the NBA you have to acknowledge the talent, class, sportsmanship, and influence of people like Kobe, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Shaq, Steve Kerr, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkely, Scottie Pippen, Derrick Fisher, and we could go on and on; the same could be said about baseball with guys like Mariano Riviera, Ken Griffey Jr, etc. The point I am trying to make is that we only have a limited time to build our individual and collective legacies before our light dims and the next generation starts their journey.
For eight years I have been coaching and mentoring children through Lost Boyz, and I often wonder what life is going to be like when I step on the field and give that final wave and coach my last game. I’m not in a rush for that to happen, but at 40 years old I do have to seriously start thinking about it. What legacy will I leave? Will the next Executive Director do better and take the organization places I never could? How will I be and how will Lost Boyz be without each other?
So as I reflect and ponder on the answer to these questions it allows me to step back and examine exactly what we have done in the past 8 years. I am grateful for how God has blessed the children that have stepped on our field, I am grateful for the time and energy that our volunteers have sacrificed to make a difference. We have gone from an organization started out of my living room with 12 kids and $500 to serving over 100 kids with over $50,000. But we are not satisfied in stopping there because we know we can do and be so much more.
We cement our legacies by beginning to set this next generation up on their journeys to experience their era and be the best they can and do the most good possible. Watching Dartrey play college baseball and remembering him when he was 10, or hearing of Krystal and Fantasia’s high school games and aspirations to play in college is my legacy and is the most notable contribution of the era I belong to.
So as we go into this summer season ready to play our hearts out, ready to go into the communities across Chicago and do some good for others, remember this is our Legacy, mine and yours because of your support, we will tip our hat, smile to the fans and know we are leaving the future in good hands with the Boyz…….