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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Windy City Sox Fans!
by Hal Vickery

I guess you could say I took a little time off for the holidays. However, it was completely unintentional. Computer problems prevented me from even booting up my machine, let alone doing any work on it. Itís nice to have a computer geek for a son, except when heís spending so much of his time at work that he doesnít have time to look at whatís wrong with your computer.

At any rate, Iíve been up and running for almost a week now, and itís time to get back into harness. And with all the negativism about the McCarthy trade, and all of the speculation about the fate of Juan Uribe, Iíve chosen to write about the Windy City Sox Fans.

Every year I try to encourage WSI readers to join our little fan club (if you call nearly 250 members little). Itís not because of greed either. As many of you know, Iím on the executive board of the club, so I can tell you how we operate.

The Windy City Sox Fans are a 501(c)(3) corporation, which means that we are a not-for-profit organization. Donations to the club are tax deductible. No one in the club makes any salary. In fact we pay to go to the events we sponsor, and then we work at them. You can usually find me at the door of our luncheons handing out tickets and later scribbling what our guests have to say on my trusty yellow pad.

All of our money, over and above expenses, is donated to Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities, earmarked for Childrenís Memorial Hospital. Our donations go to everything from patient care and support to sending kids with cancer to summer camp.

We also sponsor an annual holiday toy drive for the hospital. This drive usually results in our carrying several thousand dollars worth of toys to the hospital every December.

How do we raise money? Our biggest money maker is our annual raffle. This year it took in about four thousand dollars. We also sponsor a series of luncheons. Last yearís luncheons featured Ozzie Guillen in June, Brian Anderson and Brandon McCarthy in July, and Tim Raines, Joey Cora, and Art Kusnyer in August. In the past weíve sponsored road trips, and assorted other fundraisers.

A money maker that turned out to be quite a surprise was our ďWorld Famous Pencil PullĒ held at our booth at SoxFest. We figured it would be something for the kids to do. We color a bunch of pencil tips, match the colors to certain categories or prizes, and charge a dollar per pencil. As it turns out, we have almost as many adults as kids trying their luck. Last year this little game contributed over two thousand dollars to our treasury.

Through these events and other donations, the Windy City Sox Fans will be presenting a check tomorrow (January 8) to CBCC for $13,000. Since our founding in 1995, our contributions, not including toys, now stand at $98,000. Not bad for a group of about 250 members.

Needless to say, this is an invitation to all WSI readers to join. Membership is $30.00 (credit card payments not accepted). Member ship includes membership card and gift package, subscription to our quarterly (more or less) newsletter, discounts to club events, and a ten percent discount on many items purchased at Grandstand (with membership card).

You can send your membership donation to:

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

I canít think of any better way to spend my money than to help somebody in need. If you agree that this is a worthy cause, the club would love to hear from you.


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

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