A few weeks back your SDSI team in total had the opportunity to attend the Brad Fowler Memorial Scholarship event on the field at Petco Park. Brad was Ron’s son, who struggled with addiction and was tragically lost at an early age. In his memory the Fowler’s started a scholarship fund for athletes who have overcome drug or alcohol obstacles and have gone on to be super achievers.
Well all us most likely think we have achieved a little something by this stage in life. I was cruising along feeling pretty ok about personal achievement …’til I heard the stories from this year’s winners. I will not be able to do them justice: imagine approaching high school as a 17 year old mother, or coming from a truly abusive alcohol infused home life or being accidentally fed meth amphetamines as an infant… and from this, pulling yourself up through the portal of sports to really excel in athletics and education… imagine. It's a good thing to remind ourselves that almost all of us started with a head start, specially compared to these amazing people. I can hardly wait to see them zoom by me on the road to life… super achievers is not sufficiently descriptive. You can help sustain these awards. Go to the Hall of Champions website and click on Brad Fowler Memorial Scholarship.
We departed the field at Petco aswim in emotional thoughts. I have not suffered from addiction and somehow have avoided many of the associated challenges. By the time I hit the exit and started for my trusty Jeep, I have to say I was embarrassed at the riches I have in life…wife, family, friends, SDSI…that’s my community and I was counting my blessings.
Not for long. As we hit the exit I ran right into an immense human tragedy, the scope of which simply overwhelmed me. The depth and complexity of our San Diego homelessness is unavoidably there to see at a catastrophic scale. The Tailgate Park looked like an encampment: the block surrounding Father Joe’s are covered in tents and awnings and shopping carts, and of course the full and sad spectrum of the homeless community is unavoidably there.
You know, the reality is unavoidable, but solutions are not impossible. It's a very complex issue, fraught with both accurate and incorrect assessments by those of who are separated from the homeless community perhaps only by luck. The good news is there are many high-minded people in the public and private sector working hard to mitigate this tragedy. Fortunately for us, one of our leaders in the sports community is in fact doing something about it: Pat Kilkenny and his wife Stephanie are directing their efforts at Lucky Duck Foundation to create real world, tangible solutions. Check “One Act of Kindness San Diego" (1AOKSD) at the Lucky Duck website.
We can help them. As an example, they have created a backpack program. The contents are the must haves: socks, underwear, poncho, tooth brush, shoes or sandals, water, and hand sanitizers. Products many of us make: DONATE THEM! And for our bigger corporate members, why not create a matching gift program where your employees can make a donation to 1AOKSD and the corporation can match it. By the way Dan Shea, Peter Seidler and Pat & Stephanie are the force behind the erection of the three tents that were recently installed to help move the homeless off the streets. So, something can indeed be done. Let’s do our part here and help… donations, money, personal time. Remember, we are all God’s children!
Brad Fowler Memorial Scholarship