‘Pin­ball’ Cle­mons com­ing to Strat­ford

The Beacon Herald - - FRONT PAGE - TERRY BRIDGE STAFF RE­PORTER

About a year ago, An­drea Page heard Michael “Pin­ball” Cle­mons speak at a con­fer­ence.

The Strat­ford Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal Foun­da­tion’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor was blown away.

“There were about 1,500 peo­ple in the room, and you could have heard a pin drop. Ev­ery­body was en­thralled with his pre­sen­ta­tion and style and mes­sage,” Page said Mon­day. “It just left that last­ing im­pact. It was that ‘wow’ fac­tor.”

She was so im­pressed, she helped bring him to Strat­ford and take on the key­note role of the foun­da­tion’s an­nual gen­eral meet­ing, which will be held Tues­day at 5:15 p.m. at the Strat­ford Coun­try Club. With Cle­mons known for his on- and offfield football prow­ess – the 53-yearold played a dozen sea­sons with the Toronto Ar­gos and also coached the CFL club twice, win­ning mul­ti­ple cham­pi­onships – the event’s theme is Go­ing for a Touch­down.

Page said the meet­ing has two main pur­poses.

“It’s our op­por­tu­nity to cel­e­brate the year and report on the year and share in­for­ma­tion about our re­spon­si­bil­ity, the im­pact of donors and the im­pact giv­ing has on the hos­pi­tal and its abil­ity to care,” she said. “But the key­note speaker is really our thank you to our donors. We try to bring in a dif­fer­ent speaker that will in­spire and in­vig­o­rate and touch the hearts of our donors.”

Last year’s meet­ing had a Go­ing for Gold theme, as the guest speaker was Cana­dian Olympic rower Silken Lau­mann. But Page em­pha­sized pa­trons don’t need to have a wealth of football knowl­edge to ap­pre­ci­ate Cle­mons’ speech.

“You do not need to be a sports fan to en­joy Pin­ball and his mes­sage,” she said. “It’s not about football. It’s not about sports. It’s Pin­ball talk­ing about his life lessons.”

As for the foun­da­tion, a to­tal of $1.7 mil­lion was do­nated in the past fis­cal year, which con­trib­uted to the first CT scan­ner pay­ment, a de­fib­ril­la­tor, op­er­at­ing, pharmacy and lab equip­ment, and various other items.

“Right down to non-slip socks for falls pre­ven­tion and ev­ery­thing in be­tween, a truly com­pre­hen­sive list of equip­ment that will truly im­pact not only the physi­cians and staff that use it, but es­pe­cially the pa­tients and their fam­i­lies,” Page said.

Some donors and vol­un­teers re­ceived com­pli­men­tary tick­ets, but the event is also open to the gen­eral pub­lic for $10 each.

“There’s still some tick­ets avail­able,” she said. “If any­body has noth­ing to do to­mor­row af­ter­noon, for $10 to get ac­cess

to such a fan­tas­tic speaker is well worth the money in­vested and you’ll get great news about what’s hap­pen­ing at our foun­da­tion.”

About 160 have been handed out or sold so far. The rest are avail­able by call­ing 519-2728210 ext. 2626 – the preferred method – but they will also be sold at the door.

CRAIG ROBERTSON/TORONTO SUN

Michael “Pin­ball” Cle­mons is the key­note speaker for the Strat­ford Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal Foun­da­tion’s an­nual gen­eral meet­ing Tues­day night at the Strat­ford Coun­try Club.

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