This past Friday, the Cleveland Indians Front Office volunteered at the USO care package facility down in North Canton. There were about 11 of us that made the trek down 77 South and it was quite possibly the farthest Indians in the Community event we’ve ever done. But you know what? It was worth it.
We arrived at the facility, which is a lot smaller than I had pictured, at about 10:00 and were welcomed with open arm(y). Get it? Open arms, but since it is the USO I put Army in there instead. Moving on…
We got a quick background on the USO and all that they do for the soldiers–which this particular facility handles pretty much all of Northern Ohio. An amazing distance considering how many soldiers there are from Ohio. That should probably be a statistic I have handy for you, but you’ll learn it better if you look it up for yourself.
Once the background was over, we learned how to package things up. They take those US Postal Service “Flat Rate Boxes” and fill them as much as they possibly can. And just when you think you can’t fit anything else in there, they will find a little air pocket that you missed and make you fill it even more. It was amazing how much you could get in there to make it way 10 pounds. We put in DVD’s, CD’s, toothpaste, deoderant, soaps, contact solution, hand lotion and sanitizer, books, dryer sheets, anything you could think of that had to do with health and wellness. Then, in other boxes, we crammed canned foods, jerky, cereal, candy, chips and a whole bunch of other food.
All in all, we ended up filling up and packaging 137 care packages, which I’m pretty sure is some sort of record. We also had Slider come and visit/help out/destroy the facility. Plus, we got some face time on Fox 8 News and Newschannel 5.
Alright, well I know my entry title is about football, but I think I could still tie it in to what the entry is about. It will definitely be a stretch, so just go with it.
Tonight is the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission’s Cleveland Sports Awards. This is a great evening where the Sports Commission recognizes local athletes for their great performances over the past year. They range from high school to college to pro athletes. Our very own Shin-Soo Choo is up for Pro Athlete of the Year. He is up against the Browns’ Joe Thomas and Josh Cribbs (see, there is one tie in to the entry title already!).
Another nice thing that will occur tonight at the Sports Awards is the recognition of the 1995 and 1997 World Series teams. Making appearances from those teams tonight will be Chad Ogea, Brian Anderson, Manager Mike Hargrove, recent Indians Hall of Fame inductee Kenny Lofton and soon-to-be 600 home run hitter (hopefully), Jim Thome! These guys will get a special introduction, have some questions thrown their way and a special tribute video of those crazy World Series years.
In case you were thinking about it, yes, that is my other tie in to the entry title. Although, instead of “Back in ’82″ it should be “Back in ’97″ and instead of “I used to be able to throw a pigskin…,” we should probably change it to “Ogea used to be able to throw a fastball…” Either way, I wanted the quote up there for the title, so it stays!
So hopefully we see some of you at the awards banquet. It’s a great night and good to see the old ’90′s teams getting recognized again in the community!