For those who know me, my audience tends to lean heavily “football”.
So when I put the following 500 or so words together, at first, I thought I would be sharing it with some of the guys – and gal – that call Lemke and Riverbarn their home from August until November.
But the more I thought about it, the more it became clear that it applies to many, many more of you.
To all of you volunteers and youth coaches out there – no matter the sport or the stripe – that work a season or two or three into your life.
Over and over again.
So, regardless of your vocation, “purpose” or passion as a volunteer coach in our community, two things are for certain:
This one is for you.
We have to build it.
So here goes:
“You probably do not hear this nearly enough:
Your efforts in the community and your commitment to all our kids are valued, respected and deeply appreciated.
It is your investment in them – at the most fundamental level – that makes everything else possible.
So – “Thank you.”
You are the ones we count on each season to lead, mentor, coach and, in some cases, parent more than just your own.
Making them the center of your life.
Painstakingly putting all of the pieces together.
Enduring the waiting with the faith and patience of a saint.
And if you are fortunate, you might even get to be there when the light goes on.
And witness first hand, the look of pure joy.
That one thing that keeps you coming back for more.
If each season is roughly three full months, you will have spent an entire calendar year with one team, if you are present the first time they run onto the field as fifth graders and the last time they linger, and slowly leave as an 8th.
And should you be blessed with many sons, an understanding spouse and a love for all sports, you might just find a way to spend many, many more seasons doing some of the heavier lifting, here in our community.
Modeling true character in action.
Instilling habits that can lead your charges to achievement, excellence and success.
Teaching them the basics of life:
Get back up.
Then, get back up again.
Earn your spot.
Look out for one another.
Make good choices.
Give yourself up for something bigger.
Be the best version of yourself even when things are at their worst.
And, make the most of every moment.
Lessons brilliantly disguised as youth football.
It is your investment in them – at this most fundamental level – that makes everything else possible.
And now, you have a chance to be a part of something that is even bigger.
The Homestead Capital Campaign.
It is now underway.
Its goal: to renovate and update the outdoor Highlander athletic facilities befitting the standards of excellence expected by our community.
The timing is right.
The plan is sound.
The vision – bold.
And no matter how you choose to participate – through your time, your talents or your treasure – this represents an ideal opportunity to cast a lasting impression on the lives of all our kids; past, present and future.
To be a part of a team that aims to build on the foundation you so lovingly crafted.
Involved in a project that will span ages, bridge generations and positively impact all manner of athletic endeavor here in Mequon-Thiensville.
The residue of yet one more of the many life lessons you get to teach each season.
The one all of us volunteers and youth coaches have down pat:
“the getting is always found in the giving”.