Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Players and heroes

If Everything’s Coming Your Way, You’re in the Wrong Lane!

Third Annual Golf Outing: One of my proudest moments came recently when I saw the readers of this blog and Facebook gather together to lend their support to help CHS State Champs get their richly-deserved rings. The Bears Athletic Club has purchased capes for the players as they stand on the sidelines during freezing PA winters, uniforms to replace torn, tattered, and repaired ones that have long outlived their newness, food during road trips, and many other ways of helping. The Bears responded not only on the field but in the classroom where a third carry grade point averages of 3.5 or better. That is a testament to the players, their parents who encourage them, their coaches who monitor them, and the faculty who teach them as well as the administration and school board.

Now it is time to step up again. The annual fundraiser for the past few years has been a golf outing. This year it will take place July 9 at the 7 Springs Golf Course in Elizabeth. With the economy struggling the numbers of participants has also been down and there is still room for golfers and duffers. Money raised helps continue the proud CHS tradition of athletic and academic excellence that has been in place for more than a century.

If you are local and participate, sign up now. If you are not a golfer but would like to help, you may sponsor a hole, contribute items to be raffled, or send a check to help the program. All donors will be recognized during the buffet and prize raffle. Please contact CHS Athletic Director Anthony R. Ferrare at ferrarea@clairton.k12.pa.us or phone him at 412.233.9200 ext. 1116.

Clairton superstars continue to shine:
Several members of the Bears State Championship team entered a seven-on-seven contest. Other schools participated and CHS beat some of the best talent from the biggest schools in the area. They dropped a game to TJ but were not eliminated and went on to win the tourney. The winner (CHS) of the tournament was beaten by their neighbor it was TJ who received an invitation to a seven-on-seven competition at the Southern Methodist University campus in Dallas. A recent article in the local newspaper suggested that if TJ declined the offer, the Bears would be invited but there would be no money to send them. No invitation has been issued as of this writing.

Three standout Clairton players, however, were invited at the behest of the Gateway coach to attend an IMF John Madden all star game in Florida. This was an exciting honor as the trip would also serve as a college campus tour. The bus would stop at several campuses including Virginia, Duke, North Carolina, West Virginia and others. The local group of fundraisers provided the players with food and spending money and they took of earlt Thursday morning. By Thursday night they had seen U VA and were near the Duke campus when a tragedy occurred. On the way back to their hotel from dinner they crossed paths with some idiot hothead who was packing heat. He pulled the gun and fired blindly at the group, wounding two Gateway players, one fatally. Our boys were traumatized but not otherwise injured. What a sick tragedy.

Tragic gunplay victim a winner: Soldiers, fire fighters and police officers deserve special consideration. Jim Kuzak, Clairton police officer was rushing to the aid of a crime victim when he was shot. The 15-year police veteran who served in Peteers Township, Homestead, and Clairton was shot five times last April. He was shot twice in the bulletproof vest, once in his forearm, once in the side and once just above the vest, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Prior to the shooting Kuzak had planned to participate in a torch run with other law enforcement officers in an effort to raise money for the Special Olympics. Officer Kuzak didn’t let a little thing like getting shot deter him.

The shooting happened in April and Officer Kuzak has been wheelchair bound since. His goal was to hold the torch and travel 2.5 miles . His efforts have already helped raise a sizable sum. The full journey course goes from the PNC Park to State College, a 150 mile journey which takes three days. Participantsl carry the Special Olympic torch over the distance in an effort to shine light on the Special Olympics and to raise funds.

As the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run began on Route 22 Officer Kuzak was pushed in his wheelchair by his fellow Clairton officers, Chief Rob Hoffman, Sgt. Jim Corozza, Sgt. Joe Giles, Sgt. Keith Zenkovich, officer Dan Eberman, officer Brennan Jackson, officer Robert Pugar and officer John Skrip, along with runner John Dunlap.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run is Special Olympics' largest grassroots fund-raiser and public awareness vehicle in Pennsylvania. Thanks to the run, which brings donations through sponsorship of running departments, and other fund-raising events throughout the year, Special Olympics is free to participants.

The day of the run heat was oppressive, but the runners kept in their minds the Special Olympians, some of whom live in the city. The Clairton officers raised about $1,500 for the organization, a portion of the more than $57,000 generated by the torch run, which involves law enforcement from around the region and will end Thursday night in State College when thousands of athletes start the Summer Games.

And what of Officer Kuzak whose injuries could leave him permanently paralyzed? He and his family are encouraged by what he described as "walking sessions" in the past few days with the aid of braces. Although the road ahead remains full of uncertainties he returned home last month and requires regular physical therapy to build his upper body strength.

A not so stupid 68-year old: After being married fo 50 years, a fellow we know took a careful look at his wife one day and said to her, "Fifty years ago we had a cheap house, a junk car, slept on a sofa bed and watched a 10-inch black and white TV. But I got to sleep every night with a gorgeous, hot 18-year-old girl.“

“Now ... I have a $500,000.00 home, a $35,000.00 car, a nice big bed and a large screen TV, but I'm sleeping with a 68-year-old woman. It seems to me that you're not holding up your side of things."

The wife is a very reasonable woman. She told him to go out and find a hot 18-year-old girl and she would make sure that he would once again be living in a cheap house, driving a junk car, sleeping on a sofa bed and watching a 10-inch black and white TV.

A little blogging music Maestro... “The Way We Were," By Barbara Streisand.

Dr. Forgot


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