One of the “Five Values” we have at Festival Foods is “involvement.” We value people and relationships. Involvement in our community and with our guests, associates, and business partners is essential to who we are. This past weekend I had the pleasure of participating, along with over 1,000 other De Pere High School graduates, in a fundraising softball tournament in honor of my former Track and Field Coach/Teacher, Dan Baker. The “Baker Bash” was a free community event that included 16 co-ed teams of De Pere High School alumni who played a weekend full of softball games to help raise money for our influential coach. You see, Coach Baker is seven months removed from being diagnosed with prostate cancer, but he appears to have beaten this increasingly common male disease. “Coach” has been coaching, teaching and influencing young people’s lives for 34 years. The last 31 years have been spent at De Pere High School. Coach is a cornerstone in our community and has impacted many of us in ways too numerous to count. When I asked him how it felt to have over 1,000 people gathered together to honor him he simply answered that he was “humbled and amazed”. He was also quick to point out all of the volunteer hours people graciously donated for this event. It was typical of Coach to take the spotlight off of himself and put it onto others. The end result was a weekend of fun, friends and family honoring a man who has meant a lot to most people who have walked the halls of De Pere High School. The proceeds raised from the Baker Bash, including raffles, merchandise and concessions, will be earmarked for prostate cancer causes as well as the De Pere High School Track and Field Booster Club. To all of the volunteers and to Coach, thank you for getting everyone together again to celebrate your life and your will to beat this disease. You are still finding ways to influence how we handle the obstacles that come our way. Keep pushing!
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