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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Holiday Giving
by Hal Vickery

It’s a good time to be a Sox fan, and Sunday was an especially good day for Sox fans who also happened to attend a holiday party sponsored by the Windy City Sox Fans. As you may be aware if you’ve been reading this column for more than three weeks, I’m a member of the executive board of that organization that is far more than a fan club.

The Windy City Sox Fans have been celebrating their tenth year of fundraising for Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities. Over that time, the membership, over two hundred strong, has donated approximately $70,000 to that charity, earmarked for Children’s Memorial Hospital.

Despite the serious purpose of the club, however, the core membership loves to have a good time. The club sponsors a road trip with the Sox each year, usually staying in the same hotel as the team. It sponsors a series of luncheons every summer featuring Sox players, coaches, and one day this past June, even Jerry Reinsdorf. A high point every year is the holiday party.

And that event was today, and it was pretty exciting. Some of the usual suspects were there. Billy Pierce, who has led CBCC pretty much from its inception was there with his wife Gloria. Minnie Minoso made his second appearance this year at an event, and Carlos May made his first appearance as a guest of the club.

Another guest, making her first appearance at a holiday party in seven or eight years, was Nancy Faust. As luck would have it, Nancy’s family celebrates her mother’s birthday on the first weekend in December, exactly the time the club has scheduled its party for several years. This year, though, the party was scheduled a week later, so Nancy and her husband were able to attend.

Naturally more than one person was curious as to whether or not Nancy has been rehired for next year. Unfortunately there is no news yet on that front. Fortunately there may be some news about that in the near future. To paraphrase Jack Brickhouse (who actually was a Sox play-by-play announcer before he became identified with the Cubs): “Keep your fingers crossed, you Faust fans!”

The big surprise for just about everybody at the party was neither Carlos May nor Nancy Faust, though. The big surprise was the person who acted as emcee: Dave Wills. If you didn’t catch it Saturday, Wills is now doing the television play-by-play for the UIC Flames. So you might say he was in town for the weekend and thought he’d drop by.

At this point I have to acknowledge a bit of a conflict of interest, so here is my disclaimer. In addition to writing for WSI, I also edit the WCSF’s newsletter. Therefore, anything that is said at a club event goes into the newsletter before I discuss it here.

However, since the newsletter with the article about the holiday party won’t be out until sometime in February, I think I can safely report his answer to the big question. Some of Dave’s fans have held out hope that with Dave’s employers, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, now under new ownership, the owners might be willing to let Dave come back to Chicago to do radio play-by-play for the Sox.

Dave quashed that idea immediately, but he held out the hope that he might be coming back in the more distant future if the Sox and their broadcasting partners want him. I guess that pretty well takes care of my fantasy scenario from a couple of weeks ago that he’ll be back in 2007. But I’m not giving up.

One other thing that I’d like to mention about Sunday’s events is the toy drive the WCSF sponsors among its members. Last year the club donated something around $5000 worth of toys to Children’s Memorial Hospital. This year’s stack of toys, stuffed animals, and games looked much larger than last year’s. That might have had something to do with the fact that this year’s party attracted a record 122 Sox fans.

Finally, I’d like to make an appeal to WSI readers and members. This is a time when we give, sometimes almost until it hurts. There are presents to buy for the family, for co-workers, for clients. The Salvation Army’s bell ringers are at every grocery store. Still I’m going to ask you to consider one more charity to which you might want to make a donation.

The Windy City Sox Fans donate all of their proceeds beyond expenses to Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities. From the beginning it has been understood that the funds donated by the club would be earmarked for Children’s Memorial Hospital, so it is going directly to care, treatment, and support services for children suffering from pediatric cancers and their families.

If you’re so inclined to donate to such a charity, the club would be grateful for your donations. If you make a donation before the end of the year, your gift will be part of the donation the club will be making to CBCC in January. Windy City Sox Fans in a 501(c)(3) corporation. Your donation is tax deductible.

Donations should be sent to:

Windy City Sox Fans
9923 S. Ridgeland Ave., #184
Chicago Ridge, IL 60415

If you would like to become a member of the Windy City Sox Fans for 2006, check this column in the future after a membership donation has been set.


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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