Journal May 27, 2010

I was thrilled to be the guest speaker for the Winged Foot Scholarship Foundation in Naples, Florida. Eleven terrific scholar-athletes were selected from various schools in Collier County for their outstanding achievements in the classroom and on the playing field.  It was truly a pleasure meeting these eleven youngsters.  There was over 600 people in attendance at the event and I was honored to replace Tim Tebow as the speaker, as he could not make it due to a commitment with the Broncos.  I spoke for this organization 21 years ago at their first event, so it was a lot of fun to come back years later and see how much the foundation has grown.  I can't thank Bud Hornbeck, who helped organize the event, enough.  It was a great evening!



Journal May 21-22, 2010

What an AMAZING weekend!!!!  It started Friday morning with Mike and Mike (ESPN Radio) doing their radio show from the Ritz Carlton in Sarasota to promote the V Gala later that evening.  The Gala was completely sold out with over 850 in attendance.  The honorees, Tom Izzo and Tony Dungy, could not have been more gracious all weekend.  

They happily took photos and signed autographs for fans, did interviews with the media, and most importantly, helped raise over $1.2 million for pediatric cancer research.  Magic Johnson flew in to introduce Tom Izzo and Colts head coach, Jim Caldwell, introduced Tony Dungy.

The evening also featured two very emotional tributes.  One to Mark Herzlich, a Boston College football player who was hit with cancer in his leg and told he would never walk again.  Twelve months after his diagnosis, Mark is cancer free and planning on playing in Boston College's opening day game, Sept. 4, 2010.  Mark addressed the crowd and gave one of the night's most memorable speeches.  The other tribute was for Jake Olsen, a 12 year old boy from California, who lost his eye to cancer when he was 18 months old and then just recently was told he had to have his other eye removed because the cancer had come back.  Jake is now blind and a true HERO!!!  He also addressed the crowd at the Gala and wowed everyone with his strength, courage, and incredible attitude.  

Mark and Jake represent everything our weekend is all about.  They are the reason I am fighting so hard to find a cure for this dreaded disease - no person, especially a child, should endure what they have had to.  Their positive attitudes are infectious and I was so honored and proud to have them at my event.  The room that evening was filled with stars and celebrities - Kenny Chesney, Roy Williams, Gary Williams, Nick Bollettieri, Tommy Lasorda, John Calipari, Steve Mariucci, Mike Alstott, and a host of others.  I can't thank everyone enough for their continued support of the V Gala and the V Foundation.  Raising over $1.2 million in one night is a task that requires the help of so many people and I can't thank everyone enough!!!!  

CLICK HERE to view photos from the Gala

Saturday morning there was a golf outing at the Ritz Carlton.  Jake Olsen played all 18 holes with the assistance of his father!  It was a beautiful afternoon for all the golfers.  Later that day, my wife and I had about 200 people over our home for a celebration to cap off the tremendous success of the gala.  Lou Holtz was there, along with Kenny Chesney, Jim Caldwell, Tom Izzo, and Nick Bollettieri.  It was a terrific way to end a REMARKABLE weekend!!! 

CLICK HERE to view photos from the party at our home


Journal May 19, 2010

I had a great time as the guest speaker for the 2010 FIS Client Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  FIS President and CEO, Frank Martire and COO, Gary Norcross could not have been more welcoming to me and my wife.  I was honored to be able to share some of my thoughts and ideas on motivation and leadership to this wonderful group. 

Thanks to everyone at FIS for making my visit to Milwaukee so enjoyable!


Journal May 18, 2010

I had the pleasure of speaking for Bruce Ferris and Prudential in Chicago this afternoon.  Prudential was hosting a leadership conference in conjunction with the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.  There were seminars all day on leadership and I was final speaker.  I spoke about motivation and the Game of Life.  I have known Bruce for years.  He does a fantastic job as the leader at Prudential.  I was glad to be a part of this successful conference.  Afterwards, my wife and I caught a Cubs game at Wrigley Field!  I even had the pleasure meeting Olympic Gold Medalist, Lindsey Vonn at the Cubs game!  Chicago is such a GREAT city!


Journal May 15, 2010

What an honor it was to be the recipient of the 2010 Award of Excellence by the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay.  It was a Hawaiian themed affair and it was truly spectacular.  The event was presented by All Children's Hospital and I was honored for my various work with children's charities.  As the 2010 Award of Excellence recipient, I selected the V Foundation's clinical trial for children with advanced neuroblastoma as the beneficiary of the Community Grant.  It was humbling to be selected for this prestigious honor and I was so thankful to be able to share the special moment with my family and friends.


Journal May 11, 2010

I had a great evening as the guest speaker for Apotex Corporation in Orlando, Florida. Apotex is one of the leading pharmaceutical companies making generic drugs.  Our host for the evening was Jeff Watson, President of Apotex. Jeff and his fellow executives could not have been any nicer to my wife and I during our stay.  The event was held at the beautiful Gaylord Resort.  I can't thank everyone with Apotex enough for treating us so kindly and for a spectacular evening.


Journal May 7, 2010

I had a terrific time tonight in Tampa at the Tim McGraw concert at the Florida Fairgrounds.  Opening for Tim was Lady Antebellum who just recently won numerous awards at the Country Music Awards.  They were fantastic! I have seen Tim McGraw several times before and each time his show just amazes me.  He has incredible energy on stage and he captivates the audience from start to end.  

Tim recognized me in the stands during the show and had one of his security guards come get me and my family in our seats and they escorted us backstage.  While backstage we talked with his wife, Faith Hill.  She is such a beautiful person, inside and out.  After the show, we talked with Tim for a few minutes.  We were all blown away by how personable and warm he was.  My wife and I are huge country music fans and will forever be BIG Tim McGraw fans.


Journal May 1, 2010

My wife and I, along with our good friends, Fred and Florence Barakat, spent a few days in Las Vegas for the Floyd Mayweather vs. Shane Mosley showdown.  We had a blast seeing shows like Barry Manilow and Marie Osmond and eating at some of Vegas' best restaurants.  The trip culminated with the big match-up between Mayweather and Mosley.  We were lucky to be invited to the pre-fight party by HBO.  I was like a kid in a candy store with all the celebs.  

The party was filled with one celeb after the other.  I had a thrill talking with Jets quarterback, Mark Sanchez, and Santonio Holmes, and brothers Kris Jenkins (Jets) and Cullen Jenkins (Packers).  I also got a kick out of meeting Jamie Foxx and Cedric the Entertainer. We also ran into recent NCAA Championship coach, Mike Krzyzewski out in Vegas.  He was having a much deserved vacation and it was great to catch up with him.  I can't thank everyone with HBO enough for being so kind to us. In the end, Mayweather was too strong for Mosley and he remains undefeated.  It was certainly an exciting time to be in Vegas with all the hoopla surrounding the fight.   


Quote of the Week

“All I can say is wow, two gladiators in Djokovic and Federer, put on a final for the ages.”

-Dick Vitale