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Thoughts from the executive

October 09, 2010

I read the news today, oh boy.

John Lennon was born on this day in 1940. The prolific member of The Beatles wrote many songs with Paul McCartney before he lost his life in December of 1980, but today the final track on the group's 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band seems stuck in my mind.

While Lennon’s A Day in the Life lyrics were inspired by contemporary newspaper articles, two headlines I read today touched me and many others in a significant way.

I came to San Diego from Detroit in May of 1980 to coach basketball at San Diego State. Our 21 year old senior point guard on that team was Tony Gwynn. It is always a thrill to stay connected with players I have coached over the years and when it comes to Tony, let me say it has been a blessing. Out of college he was an NBA draft choice as well as the Padres top pick. Tony could have played either sport professionally. To watch his Hall of Fame career with the Padres has been special but the icing on the cake has been to watch him win on and off the field. Spiritually grounded and always committed to his family, Tony is a living example that character counts. Together with his wife Alicia there have been very few professional athletes anywhere that have given their time, treasure, and talent to improve the quality of life for so many. The unsolicited contributions they have made to support my career after SDSU with the PAL and Jackie Robinson Family YMCA have been significant and life changing for so many.

Knowing Tony like I do, the last thing he will want is for anyone to feel bad for his condition. He has been battling this thing since 1997 like so many pitches he has fouled off the best pitchers before knocking one through the 5.5 hole. Keep Tony and the Gwynn Family in your thoughts and prayers that God will continue to elevate their spirit through this challenging time.

If the news about Tony was not enough, this headline was above the fold and right below it.

The Jackie Robinson Family YMCA serves a region where gun violence is all too common. This morning, while my wife was reading the article aloud downstairs, I am watching a seven-year old girl with tears running down her face being interviewed on TV talking about seeing the shooter coming on campus with a gun in his hand. The child remembered telling her friend, "this is not right we've got to go."

Let me note this happened in Carlsbad, California.

I have long been in search of an answer to the question, "What's Going on?" when I see examples like this that represent a total disregard for life. Though this shooter and the weapon are off the streets, it is little consolation to the victims of this trauma whose innocence has suffered a violent loss.

Take time to check in with the kids in your life to find out how they are feeling about the news today. If you need help visit http://www.nssc1.org.

Until then, talk about it here. I would like to know what you think.


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