The Fabric of America and you

Long piece and worth it.  This is what will save America…

Not Just Another Town

Fred Everhart read the mail and felt sick. What would the kids do? Fred, head of the recreation commission, experienced what many American towns and committees felt – loss of funds.

Greenfield, Ohio, population 5000, just another town reliant on the auto industry. Five hundred jobs (70% of the town’s industrial employment) would be gone by October 2009.  In Willington, the nearest town, DHL Express announced it was pulling out, leaving another 8,000 employees without work. Due to the economic downturn, Greenfield lost fifty percent
of the money budgeted to run the city.

The economy didn’t factor in people like Fred Everhart. In January, 2009, Fred called a meeting. Twenty-five to thirty angry parents showed up. The anger and frustration prevented productivity. The parents understood their own hardship, but how could a city face the same?

Fred, not to be beaten, called a second meeting. Nine people attended – The Gang of Nine. Together, they convinced the town to give them $5,000.00 of the $20,000.00 budgeted for little league baseball.

Greenfield had only one ballpark, which it could no longer afford to maintain. The “Gang of Nine” convinced the city to give the park to them. Fred posted an advertisement in the local paper a few weeks before opening day – Memorial Day – volunteers needed.

On that Saturday morning, Fred arrived at 9 A.M. Only two others waited. They looked out over the field. A small breeze picked up a piece of paper and sent it tumbling over the barren field. The grass was uncut. Holes surrounded the bases, dug into the dirt by last season’s players. Water rimmed home plate.

Fred looked at his two companions, “Looks like it’s just us.” He surveyed the field. “Where’s the flag?” He frowned, “For that matter, where’s the flag pole?”

“It blew down five years ago.” One of his companions said. “They couldn’t afford to replace it.”

“No matter,” Fred said, “Let’s get to work.”

They pulled their mowers, shovels, and rakes from their trucks and began to work. At 9:30 A.M. another truck pulled into the parking lot. Behind it, trailing dust, were more cars and trucks. They soon had fifty to sixty men, women and children working. The small army mowed the grass, painted dugouts, patched the fields and mended fences.

A local newspaper picked up their efforts and printed a story. The “Gang of Nine’s” efforts symbolized the strength of community and was picked up by national media. Fred was overwhelmed with emails, letters, and donations from around the country. They came from Hawaii to Vermont. One lady called from Illinois. She’d lived through the depression and knew what it was like to go without. She didn’t want the kids to do the same. A few days later, Fred received a check for $500.00 from her.

Baseballs arrived. Twenty-four dozen came in one delivery from New Orleans. Donations of equipment arrived from individuals and little leagues in Pennsylvania and Illinois.

The league was featured on “Good Morning America”. They received more equipment from the major baseball leagues, and the Cincinnati Reds invited the entire Greenfield league to see a game at “Great American Ballpark” in Cincinnati.

Fred wasn’t done. He spoke to members of the “Concerned Veterans of Greenfield”. Their bylaws prohibited them donating money, but they donated a flagpole and a flag.

Fred spoke to a stone mason, Jay Hardy, owner of Hardy Memorials. Fred wanted to do something in return to the veterans. Jay agreed to donate his work to those who fought then and now. Fred expected a small plaque, but one morning, Jay pulled into the parking lot with a section of marble three feet, by two feet, by two inches. The flagpole and monument where mounted in cement.

The league made concessions: only one new baseball per game; the scoreboard and lights remained dark; and restrooms were locked, replaced with portable toilets.

Four hundred and fifty children, ages five through sixteen, signed up to complete forty-seven teams. On opening day, Fred and his gang surveyed the field once again. Fred remembers one thing – sounds. He listened to the laughter of children, the crack of bats against balls, and above it all, the snapping of the flag blowing in the wind.

A call for silence – the national anthem played and the plaque was dedicated to the veterans.

“Play ball!” The umpire yelled.

The season was on.

On July 3rd, the last game was played. The last ball was struck. The last game of the season came to an end. The players, parents, coaches, and umpires left the field. The last breath of wind rolled a hotdog wrapper over the infield. The sun dropped below the horizon. The light of day faded. The stars and stripes gave a final wave in the dying wind. It hung limp against the pole – vigilant – waiting for another season. One could imagine the sound of a bugler playing, signaling the end of the day, the end of a season.

The economy caused problems around the globe, but in Greenfield, it was beaten – Greenfield, not just another town.

            –Michael T. Smith

This is what will save America – people with passion serving others – maybe it starts in your town and maybe with you?


About Dr Bill Toth

Bill’s Background I’m just an average guy who’s learned a few things about Life, Success and Personal Development – thanks to some incredibly good and bad experiences during the past 25+ years. I’ve made many mistakes and have learned to combine down to earth values with a unique ability to distill complex concepts into simple powerful strategies which can be immediately applied to produce measurable results. In short; “I’ve traveled the territory, drawn a few maps and I’m happy to share them” I do not consider myself to be an “expert” and my work is never presented as the definitive doctrine on how you should live your life or what it takes to be successful in your business. I am a work in progress and if you were to you join me on life’s journey by hiring me as your coach or partnering with us in business – our learning will very likely be a two way street. In fact, I expect it to be. “What you know dies with you – what you DO leaves a legacy” I was raised in upstate New York and eastern Pennsylvania. This rural upbringing is strongly reflected in my personal value hierarchy: Faith > Family > Friends > Fitness and Finance. Education and a commitment to continuous improvement are next on the list. All these and more are strongly reflected in my coaching, teaching, writing and speaking. While growing my private practice I also taught Orthopedics and Neurology at both the undergraduate and graduate level, produced a TV show on fitness, appeared on numerous radio and TV programs, authored numerous journal articles, chapters for medical texts, served as vice-president of my state medical association, and started a family. I have had the honor and privilege of consulting with and coaching a diverse population of people from royalty to prisoners, from children to CEO’s, from amateur to professional athletes from 41 countries and people of almost every race, creed, religious belief and nationality. I am passionately committed to contribution and Living With Intention. Part of my philosophy is to think globally while acting locally. I am a very active member of my church, as well as several community organizations. After church, my favorite philanthropy is the Nourish the Children. I have also performed extensive volunteer work for both the Anthony Robbins Foundation, and the Make a Wish Foundation. Why become an Entrepreneur? I became an entrepreneur because after 5 years of Health Care Reform I found I was merely an employee of the various insurance company’s I was interacting with. I became painfully aware I was working more hours for less money and that what I was doing wasn’t working! At the same time my beautiful daughter, Casey, was born. This was the first time in my life I started to think about my future, and of course hers. When children come into your life, your perspective changes from Firebirds and Ferrari’s to Gymnastics, music lessons, horseback riding and so forth. Suddenly, I had to think longterm – was what I was doing going to provide all the things that a father wants for his children? In October of 1998 I started my entrepreneurial endeavors on a very part time basis. Less than 3 months later my New Year’s Resolution was to put my practices up for sale. In May of 1999 I sold them and began to work on my dreams and my fortune on a full time basis. From there, it took me a full five years to get to the point where I could do whatever I wanted to do. Along the way I wrote my first book: “Morning Moments”…as well as learning a few things about money, transitioning careers and happiness. I am happy to share what I know, in short again; “I’ve traveled the territory, drawn a few maps and I’m happy to share them” In summary; Transitioning careers was the hardest challenge I’ve ever taken up and it’s been the most rewarding! In so many ways, this is the very best personal development seminar I’ve ever taken because I met mySelf and my wife in the process…and every perceived adversity was worth it. Today, with my wife Julie, we “get to” pay the gift forward by coaching, mentoring others through the same process. There is no greater pleasure than showing others how to earn their freedom and then observing what good they do with it. Life Will Never Be The Same
This entry was posted in Business Coaching, General Business and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *