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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

A true Sox Fan champion

It’s very difficult for me to write a column this week.  Baseball just doesn’t seem that important to me right now.  You see, as the Sox were beating the Twins in a baseball game, Joanne Weir was losing a battle for her life. 

Joanne was a teacher for over thirty years and a lifelong White Sox fan.  She was a longtime member of the ChiSox club and after that a founding member of the Windy City Sox Fans.  In both groups Joanne worked tirelessly to raise money for Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities. 

I met Joanne and her sister Mary Kay about a dozen years ago.  I can’t even remember the circumstances except that it was a ChiSox club function of some sort.  As I became more involved in the organization I saw the both of the pretty frequently and we got to know each other.  Eventually I was elected to the board of directors and we were involved in the operations of the club.  

Then about 1995, I got a call from Mary Kay.  She, Joanne, and some other board members had decided they wanted to form a new club with the hope of raising even more money for the charity.  It sounded like a good idea to me, and we developed a constitution and a set of bylaws, and the Windy City Sox Fans were born.

Mary Kay was elected president and Joanne vice president.  Joanne was the person in charge of keeping the membership roster up to date, printing out labels for mailings, collecting money at events, and just about anything else she could help out with.  Every year she went with a group of members to deliver Christmas toys at Children’s Memorial Hospital, the major recipient of the club’s fund raising efforts. 

When we weren’t busy with club activities we were talking baseball.  Joanne was a fan going back to the ‘50s.  She’d tell stories about going to the ballpark with a sack lunch and watching the Go-Go Sox play.  She could tell you everything that was right and everything that was wrong about the current Sox, too.  And from her perch above the third base dugout, she’d shout encouragement to the players.

Then on Thursday I received an email from a friend who serves on the WCSF board.  Joanne was ill, fighting an infection and her situation was touch and go.  Mary Kay had asked all of her friends to pray for Joanne.  I let my friends know about the situation, but apparently God had other plans for Joanne.  She left us June 27.

Somebody suggested that where Joanne is now, the Sox who are up there with her never lose.  I hope he’s right.  And I hope Joanne is right there above their dugout, cheering them on to victory.

If you would like to pay your respects to Joanne, Mary Kay has requested that donations be made to:

Windy City Sox Fans
6348 W. 95th St.
Suite 213
Oak Lawn, IL 60453

All funds received by the club will go to Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities earmarked for Children’s Memorial Hospital.


Editor's Note: Hal Vickery has been a White Sox fan since 1955 when he was five years old. For much of that time he also had a secondary rooting interest in the Cubs, which he has shown the good sense to abandon. When not cheering for or writing about the Sox, Hal teachers chemistry and physics at North Boone High School, in Poplar Grove, IL. Hal commutes there daily from Joliet, where he lives with his wife Lee, and their dog, Buster T. Beagle. Hal's opinions are necessarily those of North Boone High School, his wife, or Buster T. Beagle. You can write Hal at nsmf@aol.com.

More features from Hal Vickery here!

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