This past weekend it was nice to return to Philadelphia specifically to host my kids football clinic. It was nice to be in South Jersey. It was nice to see familiar faces. It was nice to have teammates - former and current - come our and help. And yes, It was nice to see some members of the media. But most of all it was nice to see the smiles on the faces of all the kids. That what makes it all worthwhile.
I think the media did a great job of portraying how much fun and how excited the kids were. They also did a nice job of publicizing the NFL players in attendance. Most of them explained the mission of the Donovan McNabb Fund - how in general we raise money for the American Diabetes Association but that this year's clinic was raising money for the new Virtua hospital in Voorhees, NJ, set to open in the Spring of 2011.
However what always seems to get lost publicly is the support that goes into putting on an event like this. I'll do role call.....
Of course, an event of this magnitude cannot take place without the help of the many volunteers and sponsors. That starts with Virtua Hospital and the Virtua Foundation partnering with us. The NFL players received the press but we could not have coached 325 kids without the help of the athletes from Temple, and the coaches from Cherokee HS, Camden Catholic, the Marlton Rec League, and our friends from NASA.
I can't say enough about Company 20, the hospitality and marketing company hired with running the event. I've worked with them for 7 years now and they always manage to run a first-class event. I must thank Evesham Township Mayor Randy Brown and his staff for allowing us to use their beautiful, brand new state-of-the-art facility. I have to thank all the sponsors that provided financial and in-kind support. They are: Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles, Northern Trust, EA Sports, Modell's, Powerade and Coca-Cola, Campbell's, Jay Roberts Jewelers, 97.5 the Fanatic, Philadelphia Inquirer, USA Football, US Army, Papa Johns, Chick-Fil-A, Aloft Mt. Laurel, Marriott, Family Limo, and Packaging Graphics.
I must give special recognition to Sonny DiCrecchio and the Philadelphia Regional Produce Market; they not only have supported my clinic year in and year out but have supported many of the events hosted by my foundation.
Moving forward I hope to have that continued support from sponsors, teammates, teams, communities, volunteers, and the media so we can host more kids and try to make a difference in their lives.
On a final note, Saturday night's White Party for the adults was a success as well. I must give a big shout out to M&S Events Group, Octo, DJ Biz Markie, and all the people that attended. That money raised helps support the goals of the DM5 Fund including the Kids Clinic.