I was really looking forward to Darryl Strawberry’s golf tournament next week, but unfortunately all my hockey injuries have caught up with me. I am having a knee replaced this week. No one looks forward to that rehab but I am confident that my golf scores will improve next year!! I have been dealing with this bum knee for a while, and like everyone else does, I was hoping it would heal on its own. That is not happening. I feel very confident that Dr. Healy will do a great job and I will be better than ever. I am going to be at Huntington Hospital and I will personally check out The Clark Gillies Pediatric Unit and visit any kids there and I hope to make it down to the Clark Gillies Pediatric Emergency Care facility. I always hope there are no patients but I know if there are, they are getting the best care possible and care that is designed and staffed by pediatric professionals. I am fortunate to have good health care and I want children who need medical care to get the best possible. It is often your own experiences that shape what you do for others, so I know I will learn something from this experience. I also give a shout out to my dear friend Pierre Larouche who has undergone back surgery since he appeared at my golf tournament. I also want to remind everyone that we are about to launch our store on this website. We will have items that I have signed as well as items with our logo. We are planning on having some pretty special auction items in the future also. You will have to check it out. REMEMBER ALL THE PROCEEDS WILL GO TO HELP KIDS. It will be a great way to support me in helping kids and also get some great items for yourself.
As the summer comes to an end, I have enjoyed my visits with my grandchildren ( yes, it shocks me that I am a grandfather) before school starts. Having five healthy kids around makes me so aware of trying to help kids who are not healthy. Whether it is a chronic illness or an unexpected visit to the Clark Gillies Pediatric Emergency Care Facility at Huntington Hospital, I am glad we are able to raise money through our golf outing and upcoming BOWLING FOR KIDS event to help kids. I want to again thank all those who participated in our golf tournament as players, the celebrities, and our sponsors. It was a great event, lots of fun, but the goal is always about helping kids. So many of the celebrities who participated like Mario Lemieux, Mark Rypien, and Darryl Strawberry have foundations to help kids also. We share the commitment to continue to help as many kids as possible. Sports is a great way to get together and raise money. I often go to softball tournaments in Toronto to help raise money to help kids and with our golf and bowling events, we like to get everyone moving. Healthy kids moving and participating in sports if they want to is part of our goal to help kids.
Mother Nature blessed us with incredible weather and my fellow athletes joined our pro-am players to play two days of great golf. I was able to gather a great bunch of my friends such as Mario Lemieux, Jim McMahon, Wally Szcerbiak, Darryl Strawberry, and Mike Eruzione along with 25 other athletes. Most of them are pretty great golfers and even better guys. We all spent a lot of time together at meals, on the golf course, and at our evening functions. The golf was the centerpiece but I think everyone enjoyed THE ZOO BAND and hearing Mark Rypien do a solo after I sang my favorite “The Gambler” with the band. The guys had some great game stories to tell and with the Olympics on everyone’s mind Mike Eruzione was as entertaining as always. The purpose of the entire three days was to raise money to help kids and I could not do that without our corporate sponsors. Bouchard Transportation Company is the sponsor of this event and they were joined by Anvil International, Empire National Bank, and so many others to help us reach our goals. The pro-am participants paid to be entertained and mingle not only with the celebrities but also with other business people from Long Island, Manhattan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey and New Hampshire. We are really excited about our new format and getting to spend so much time with the players and celebrities. And when we raise money to help kids, I am happy. Thanks to everyone who contributed every gift, service, and donation made this a great event. We made lots of new friends and spent time with old friends. What a great week!
The Clark Gillies Foundation is so glad to welcome Morty Bouchard and Bourchard Transportation Company, Inc. as our community partner. Bouchard Transportation is one of the most successful companies based on Long Island and is recognized worldwide for its philanthropic endeavors. Morty Bouchard has partnered with us and is our event sponsor for our Celebrity Classic. We could not host an event of that magnitude without the generosity of Morty and Bouchard Transportation Company, Inc. THANK YOU MORTY.
July is traditionally a busy time on Long Island for Charity Golf Tournaments. In the NorthEast we only have a short window to get our golf tournaments in before late fall. We have been fortunate with the weather, no rain dates, although there were some extremely hot days when we had to take carts instead of walking. I love participating in those tournaments because it is all about helping others. Each group works so hard to put on a tournament and still be able to donate so much of the proceeds toward a good cause. I am always amazed and grateful for the generosity of those playing. With the economy and so many business and personal factors, the kindness and generosity of my fellow players makes me proud.
I want to give a SHOUT OUT to MY VOLUNTEERS. They are pretty amazing. They have worked for over six months getting ready and they are the best, THANK YOU.
I am traveling to Moosejaw, my hometown, this month. It is always fun to reconnect to my friends there and of course, visit with my family. Pam and I will be seeing many friends while there. I will be participating in some events in the area which will help raise money for some worthy causes. My friends and family there always want to hear about what we are doing at The Clark Gillies Foundation. They are generous in their support of my mission to help kids and some of them have even made it to a few events in New York. I am very proud to share my experiences with them and show them pictures of the many children I am fortunate enough to meet. I have The Morgan Center graduation pictures to show them as well as pictures from our bowling event and of the wonderful group of women in our bowling league who raise money for us and also many of them volunteer at our events. When I return it will be time to get ready for our next golf tournament.
The Morgan Center holds a graduation ceremony each year for its students to celebrate a successful year and Pam and I were there to share it with them on June 6th. It is very moving to see 20 or so little ones from the ages of 3-6 or so and many of them are in the middle of treatments for cancer. Some have no hair or wear masks to help protect them from germs but they all have the joy of being recognized for learning at “their school”. The parents are there and of course, are celebrating much more than just a school year ending. There are a lot of tears….of joy at seeing their child enjoying the day. It makes us recognize the importance of the funds we give to the Morgan Center so that they can provide teachers and a safe environment for these kids. It also makes me so grateful for the health of my five grandchildren (hard to believe there are 5 little ones around in my family, ranging from 1 year to 6 years). We took a lot of pictures but mostly just enjoyed these kids having a “normal” day celebrating the end of the school year. Again, I am so grateful for all the people who donate to The Clark Gillies Foundation so that we can continue to help these kids at The Morgan Center.
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Last night we held our second annual Bowling for Kids night at 300 Bowling in Melville. We SOLD OUT the place with 49 lanes. I can honestly say that it looked like everyone there had a great time …..for a great cause. All the funds raised last night will help Sandy victims, particularly those with special needs children. Some of the families affected by Sandy were able to join us and we certainly hope they had a good time, after suffering so much. We were also able to welcome a couple of families from The Morgan Center who have children battling cancer. All the kids at the Bowling for Kids made the night so much fun. We had Chinese auction baskets for the kids as well as us BIG KIDS. The kids really got into the baskets and winning a Disney dollhouse or a remote control motorcycle. We had a 50/50 and would you believe the woman who won was celebrating her birthday with us!!! I want to thank everyone who came to the event, our many sponsors, those board members who sponsored the families that were our guests, and Sal Ferro of Alure who chaired the event. Dianne Carroll really put everything together and she got it 100% right!!!
At a time like this, we all share in the desire to help victims of Sandy. Most of us have heard about the disruption of NORMAL LIFE for so many. I think about how many children are cold at night, how many lost their homes, and how many are afraid of what is happening. I know at this time, WE ALL MUST HELP. I am so lucky that I am surrounded by caring people. We are contacting people and organizations to find ways to be of help. I immediately decided that our January bowling event must benefit the children who are victims of Hurricane Sandy. My entire Foundation is working to find out how to help and we are contacting our resources to see how they can HELP ME HELP KIDS.
I am so happy to say that the surgery went well on my left knee and that I am about to start outpatient exercising of the knee. Everything you hear about these types of surgery does not quite prepare you for the reality. I am lucky to have been able to have some good advice from Jim Stuckey who had his knee done and I am also on the phone with Dale Tallon who had his done just a week or so before me. We have some good laughs about what we are doing or NOT DOING. I am really looking forward to a great recovery and being able to work on my golf game in the spring. I am trying to be a good patient and follow the guidelines but I don’t always succeed. It is hard to stick to the schedule of healing when I am feeling so much better. Dr. Healy has been great and I am grateful to him for being such a great surgeon. I had a Johnson and Johnson knee installed (seems a strange way to word it) and I am confident that all is going to work well. Thank you all for your well wishes. Thanks for the visits and George and Marian Wafer brought over sushi last weekend from H2O and it was great. Needless to say I am ready to get out and about and I am sure Pam is ready for that also. Don’t think she is used to having me around so much. We have caught up on some TV shows and movies. I will keep you updated and hopefully sharing my full and 100% recovery with everyone. Watch out GOLFERS, I plan on being better than ever!! Clark
I am so glad to have the surgery over and be on my way to a full recovery. I must admit that I am so happy with my decision to have my knee replaced and the ABSENCE of that pain is already evident. I want to thank all the doctors and nurses at Huntington Hospital who have taken care of me. It is a different experience when you are the patient, and I must say they were wonderful. I am so proud of my association with Huntington Hospital and now that I have experienced the care given to a patient, I am even more proud. I know that I will be working hard and I am planning on being a Super Star at rehabbing my knee. I actually like working out so I am treating it like training camp and giving it my all. Fortunately, no one hitting me or knocking me off my skates!!!
I want to congratulate Mike Eruzione who gave a great speech at the Political Convention. Hope you all saw it. His Olympic story is the best and I know many of us actually remember the games. It is inspiring. Mike is always one to help others and inspire them. I wish I could be at Darryl Strawberry’s tournament this week to support his efforts to help fight autism and I certainly plan on being there next year. We athletes have to stick together in our efforts to help kids.
While I am recuperating, I am working on our BOWLING EVENT. It looks like we will have to wait until January because I want to be able to challenge many to beat me, last year I was on a roll with strikes and was able to raise lots of money to help kids. Please contact our office if you want to be on the participant or sponsor list. It is such a fun night and it is great to be able to include kids. It is really a family event.
Well, it’s off to do some exercise to get this knee 100%.