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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

A Bleacher Feature
by Hal Vickery

While Iím having fun at SoxFest this weekend, here is something to think about. As most of you know, in real life Iím a member of the executive board of the Windy City Sox Fans. Itís often described as a Sox fan club but itís a lot more than that. Itís a charitable organization whose sole purpose for soliciting memberships and holding events is to help support Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities and Childrenís Memorial Hospital.

In its ten years of existence, with an average membership of about 200 fans, the WCSF has donated over $60,000 to CBCC. In addition to the donations to CBCC the club has also contributed thousands of dollars worth of toys to the hospital each holiday season.

The following is an interview I conducted a few days after Christmas 2004 with a young beneficiary of the services provided by Childrenís. it appears in the current issue of the clubís Bleacher Features newsletter. Maggie Horn is nine years old and lives in suburban Chicago. She was diagnosed in December 2001 with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, and is currently an outpatient at Childrenís Memorial.

Bleacher Features: How long have you been a Sox fan?

Maggie Horn: I donít know how long, but a long time. My first game I got to walk on the field.

BF: How did you get to walk out on the field?

MH: It was sponsored by the White Sox Organization and the Camp for Kids Organization.

BF: How long were you out on the field?

MH: Between walking around the field and getting autographs, I guess about fifteen minutes.

BF: Do you have any special memories about the Sox that you can think of?

MH: Well, the first time I got to walk on the field. Oh, and the first time they hit a home run and the fireworks went off.

BF: Do you remember who hit the homer?

MH: Iím pretty sure it was Magglio OrdoŮez.

BF: Have you gotten any autographs from any of the players?

MH: I have autographs from Frank Thomas, Joe Crede, Ozzie Guillen, Maggio Ordonez. There are some whose names I canít read, too.

BF: Do you have any Sox memorabilia you think is cool?

MH: I have a hat that was signed by some of the players. I brought it two times and different players signed it. I have a picture signed by Joe Crede and a ball signed by lots of the players.

BF: Iíve heard that you and your mom are the only Sox fans in the family.

MH: Well, Dadís a little bit of a Sox fan, and Momís a little bit of a Cubs fan. Iím the only real die hard Sox fan, though.

BF: Is there anything else about the Sox youíd like to tell us?

MH: Iím in this reading program at school. There are two groups, the Cubs and the Sox. Iím on the Sox team. They pick a Sox representative and a Cubs representative to go in front of the whole school, and I was picked as the Sox representative.

BF: Thank you.

MH: Thank you.

Maggieís mother, Barbara Horn, added that toy donations donít just go to making kids a little happier at Christmas time. Maggie has had to go to the day hospital at Childrenís for bone marrow procedures and spinal taps, and each time she has been taken to the toy room to pick out a gift. In fact when Barbaraís other two children have accompanied Maggie for her treatments, they have been able to select toys, too. Barbara said, ďYour organization and those like it make things a lot more pleasant during a rough time.Ē

If you pulled a pencil at the WCSF booth at SoxFest, you helped contribute to some of the services Maggie has received. If youíd like to learn more about the Windy City SoxFans, you can check out their web site at http://members.aol.com/windycitysoxfans.


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 not necessarily those of North Boone High School, his wife, or Buster T. Beagle. You can write Hal at hvickery@svs.com.

More features from Hal Vickery here!

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