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Instead of the usual MindFULL Monday, could we find a way to make today MeaningFULL Monday?

I ask, because you know that feeling when you want to do something really meaningFULL and you realize it is going to take money and time and you aren’t sure how you will find either? How about when you really want to be part of something and someone tells you that you aren’t good enough and then someone else sees your potential and helps you find a way?

Well, in honor of those who see potential in kids and find ways to help them, check out this picture (while it may look like a typical kid’s team pic, it isn’t) and letter I got from Stan last week. I’m sure many of you have heard me refer to Bev and “The Boys” at Bass Pro Shops. Bev, Stan, Sean and John are amongst my all-time favorite clients. Smart, funny and great to work with, these folks always step up to help me with my daughter’s school fundraisers or any conversation someone wants to have with this creative group.

Look at this picture and think of the teams you played on as a kid, and how you remember and still laugh about them. And then, after you are done laughing, read Stan’s note and think about how you might help hit a home-run for a group of kids who wouldn’t even be at bat, if not for the time and dedication this man has given them. I humbly ask, are you part of a company that could underwrite any part? Do you have creative connections that could financially make this trip come true? Do you have kids who are lucky enough to have dedicated adults in their lives and are simply moved to help in some way? If so, let’s  make this Monday meaningFULL and find a way to help this team. I promise, it will change your whole week.

Seven years ago, when we moved to Springfield (MO), I signed my son up for t-ball at the local park board recreational league.  At the time, he was 5 years old.  I was surprised when they told me he could not just sign up and that all of the teams were “organized”.  I asked what that meant and they told me that teams recruited kids and had try outs.  I said, “for five year olds?” and they said, “yes”, but if I agreed to coach, and take all of the kids that did not have a team, that we could play.

I agreed and for many years we only won a game or two a season.  We were the Bad News Bears.  But we tried to teach the kids the fundamentals of the game and we got better.  In seven years we have never had try outs and we have never turned a kid away.  Everyone plays, everyone sits and everyone bats.  Over time, we became more competitive and parents begin asking if their boys could play for us because of how we handled the kids.

Our boys are now 11 to 12 and we still play in the rec league.  Most of the teams we play against are organized travel teams that play over 100 games each year.  Last year we won our Spring League and finished second in the summer leagues and in the final four of the All City Tournament.

This is the last year we will play together, as a few of the boys will have the opportunity to move on to legion ball.  The sad state of youth sports today is that many of these boys will not have an opportunity to play the sport they love after this season.  Their sports experience will be over at twelve years old. Myself and the other coaches are working to give the boys one last memory of baseball and being part of a team.  To this end, we are planning to take them to Cooperstown to stay and play in a tournament for a week in August at the Hall of Fame.

This is where I need your help.  I am working to raise approximately $20,000 to cover the expenses for the trip.  I would greatly appreciate anything anyone can do to help us out. If you wish to make a donation you can send a check to my attention at the following address:

Defender’s Baseball c/o Stan Lippelman 5326 S. Whitmore Ave Springfield, MO. 65810. Thanks for your consideration and for anything you can do to help create a memory that will last a lifetime.

What are some of your MindFULL and MeaningFULL Memories? Let us know!

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