The older I get, the more I bask in the glow of seeing others who I know or have worked with take off on their own and have success.
I suppose that’s part of becoming a Dad, a coach and – well – just plain older…your triumphs are minimal compared to those you are raising or trying to lead.
I saw that first-hand last spring when the thirteen players I inherited at the Calvert Hall golf program played the best golf of their lives while winning the MIAA A-Conference championship for the first time since 1997. I knew from the first time I met them they were special young men. I had no idea if they could play high-level golf, but when I heard how many of them were involved in school activities, the Peer Ministry group, etc., I knew they were “special men”.
Turns out I was right about all of them.
I was right about someone else too.
Five years ago, when Glenn Clark was handling the producer’s role for the Morning Reaction, I started a holiday-themed campaign that essentially turned into “Coats and Cans”. My plan was to get cans and non-perishable foods donated from listeners before Thanksgiving — and then to get coats and clothing donated prior to Christmas that we could distribute to those in need.
Glenn bought into it right away. I remember driving with him to the Canton Baptist Church when we had 2,000 cans in the back of a friend’s truck and offering him the reasoning behind the campaign. I told him, “This kind of stuff is what we should be doing as a local radio station. We can talk sports all day…and we do…but making a difference in the community is what we really should be doing.”
I didn’t come up with that theme on my own. My mentor in the 1980′s, Kenny Cooper, instilled that in me when he showed up in Baltimore to coach a soccer team and treated the city like it was own birthplace.
So, the “Coats and Cans” campaign began and the listeners came through with flying colors. Year two was bigger. Year three was bigger than that. Glenn and I collaborated on every campaign and had turned it into a great triumph for the community, all because the listeners responded to our begging.
Then, Glenn left me.
He didn’t “leave” per-se, he just moved up in the world, to host his own show from 2-6pm here at WNST and take on additional programming duties as well.
Yesterday, we finished our 2013 “Cans” portion of the campaign by dropping off 2,500 cans to SARC in Harford County. I won’t tell you all about it — you can read Glenn’s piece right here and it all gets explained to you.
Make no mistake about it, though.
This year, and I say it with great pride, the Cans campaign was Glenn Clark’s baby.
He made it a success.
Others helped out, don’t get me wrong. Ryan Chell was a huge assistant. Brett Dickinson lended a whopper of a helping hand. Everyone associated with WNST gets involved and rallies around our charitable efforts. Lots of listeners to the D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction contributed cans (and coats, too, so far), so I’m thankful that Luke and I made a contibution as well.
The people at WNST understand our role in the community. From Paul Kopelke to Ashley Bishoff to Nestor Aparicio, everyone in the building at 1550 Hart Road “gets it”. We’re only as good as the listeners make us. Every year when I run my charity golf outing, the station donates up to $5,000 in radio advertising to help make it a success, even though the station itself gets zero financial benefit from the event itself.
But, without Glenn Clark this year, the Cans campaign doesn’t kick the major ass that it did.
Five years ago, I drove down to Canton with Glenn Clark and 2,000 cans and told him “this is the kind of stuff that’s really important when you do radio.”
He clearly listened.
For an old man like me, there’s really nothing better than seeing someone “leave the nest” and improve something you started.
Thank you, Glenn.