Happy Monday everyone! One of the challenges for me since I started In A Heartbeat was to figure out different ways to fundraise and how to find different sources of income. The success of a non-profit foundation is based primarily on the ability to fundraise. Prior to starting In A Heartbeat, I had no fundraising experience. It was something I had to learn on the fly.
Since I was lucky to coach college basketball for six years with a variety of different coaches, I figured this would be a good place to start generating some funding and awareness for the foundation. I decided to start an “Awareness Game” program where I would reach out to my college basketball contacts and see if they would host one of these awareness games for me. Each university would be able to provide something different but the plan was to set up a table to sell t-shirts, hats, and wristbands, hand-out information about what we do, and accept donations. The goal was also to try and get some sort of halftime promotional contest to raise money and also to get a script read by the public-address announcer about what we do.
Last week was a special week for these games. On Thursday we were at Fairleigh Dickinson (FDU) in New Jersey. The head coach at FDU is Greg Herenda. Coach Herenda was my first boss when I was an assistant at UMass-Lowell (he was the head coach there before getting the FDU job). As soon as I reached out to Coach about doing this, he got right to work on it. During the season, being a head college basketball coach is stressful. Between coaching, recruiting, watching film, making sure your players are keeping up with their classwork, and just the day-to-day operation of the program, there just isn’t much free time. Coach Herenda is really one of the most passionate and caring individuals I have ever met and I knew he wanted to make this a special night for me and for In A Heartbeat. Not only did we raise more money that night than we did at any other game that year, but he also had the public-address announcer and the crowd acknowledge me during the second half of the game. It was really a great night.
On Friday, we were at the University of Rhode Island. My former boss at Quinnipiac, Tom Moore, is an assistant coach there. Coach Moore jumped through multiple hoops to make sure I could have a table set up for their sold-out game against Davidson. There was close to 8,000 people at the game.
As I was driving home from Rhode Island that night, I thought to myself how lucky I am to be surrounded by such good people. Both of these guys are former bosses and have a ton going on especially in the midst of a season. Both of them took the time to make sure their university was able to support In A Heartbeat. I am not a college coach anymore. I worked for both of them, but I don’t really have an impact on their lives anymore and they very easily could have passed on helping but neither of them did.
I have been lucky to work for some great people but I think it’s important for all of us to surround us with people who make us better. We need to surround ourselves with people who challenge us to grow and improve. These are the people that are going to help us reach our dreams and our goals. These are also the people we can reach out to when we need support.
Once we are surrounded by these people, I think we all need to take the time to realize how special they are and how lucky we are to have them. These good people that we have surrounding us are the people that support as we go through out life’s journey. We have to allow these people to continue to have a positive impact in our lives.
Be back soon….