Recognizing Real Heroes

I get the opportunity through my organization to work with some great kids, coaches, and other organizations. Mentoring fatherless kids in core values brings a satisfaction that is hard to describe. We are working with kids who have improved their grades, mentored other kids when they got old enough, and are serving in our community. As time goes by, it will be fun to watch how they become “uncommon men,” and maybe even a Husker.

Our annual Dinner/Auction in Omaha on March 24 is honoring my friend Calvin Jones. Calvin still holds records as a Husker, and went on to win a Super Bowl with the Packers, accomplishments that my kids look at with great admiration. Calvin certainly has been to the sports mountain top.

We are honoring Calvin not for those reasons but for reasons that most likely will not make headlines or ESPN. Those days are most likely behind him, like so many defenders he had in his football rear view mirror. We are honoring Calvin for the man that he has become.

Today, Calvin works for others. He gives his time in assisting fatherless and at-risk kids with his advice, love and experience. Calvin has come to California to rally Huskers to our cause of changing the trajectory of our fatherless society. He does it not for a fee or recognition, but because it is the right thing to do.

Tommie Frazier will be at the Dinner, too. Tommy will join us in honoring Calvin, because men of great character rally up when the cause is right. Mentoring fatherless kids in Omaha and honoring Calvin is a right cause. Paul Limongi, one of the best high school football coaches in the land, will be there, too. Coach Limongi knows character because he models it. He can get me fired up just listening to him read the phone book.

Today, 2 out of 5 kids live in a home without their biological father. In the neighborhoods we work in, it is over 50%. These kids have no role models or mentors. That is changing because of the efforts of real heroes like Calvin, Limongi and others. These men facilitate a mentoring program through an uncommon organization called Playmakers. Playmakers has partnered with some tremendous partners, including PlaySmart, SAC Federal Credit Union, Scheels, and other good people from Husker Nation, in providing hope to these kids.

Our March 24 Dinner kicks off Playmakers’ 2012 campaign in Omaha, where we will serve over 300 kids this year. That is just a start in the daunting task we have signed up for. Honoring Calvin is just a small way to say “Thank you” for what he has done in rallying some great people to our cause. You are welcome to come and join us for a fun night with some great people.

…Coach Roz

Greg “Coach Roz” Roeszler is the Founder and Executive Director of Playmakers Mentoring Foundation. If you would like to invite Coach Roz to speak to your group, he can be reached at www.ThePlaymakers.org.

This article originally published 1/9/12.