As we're launching RallyMe, I've taken a second to look back to some of the "training" I've had that brings me to the point of running a company that helps athletes fund their dreams. Don’t worry, I’m not going to bore you with resume stuff. I’ll bore you with story stuff.
I was a 10 year-old hockey player, dreaming of the big time, when one of the dads of one of my teammates figured that a team from the Boston area would be well served by playing a team from Canada, the birthplace of hockey. Suddenly big plans were made for a trip to Ontario (a whole province that held mythical significance because it’s where Bobby Orr grew up). Opponents were identified, host families contacted. Dates were arranged and ice time booked. For weeks we skated harder in practice, mucked meaner in the corners, dug deeper at the end of long shifts. We were going to play hockey in Canada and damnit we were going to be ready!
Then someone did the math on the cost of the trip, and the division of how much each family would have to pay. Suddenly, I started hearing coach Jake say, "if we play the Canadians…" About that time, my Dad, who was a professor at a small college in Boston, where he also ran the yearbook, came up with an idea. He'd make a program for our team and sell ads in it to raise the money to cover the cost of the trip. He took photos of all the kids on the team, printed them in our darkroom in the basement, cropped them, and laid them out on sheets of paper. He hand-typed in the player's names and added pithy captions to the action shots. With Dad’s Beverly Farms Flyers mock-up program in hand, he and I hit the bricks.
We strode into businesses together, asking to see the manager. Then, with his freckle-faced kid looking on pleadingly, Dad would ask the business manager to pony up for an ad. Our hit ratio was nearly perfect. They didn’t really want an ad in a little youth hockey program; they wanted to help. I don't know how much we raised, but I know that we went to Canada that year. I can’t remember what happened in any of the games, but I’ll never forget the way we didn’t let the lack of a few bucks keep us from living our athletic dreams.