Hugh McLaughlin is a founding member of One For the Kids and has been an active member for over 20 years. He fondly remembers the groups beginning as a small group of friends just looking to help. We had humble beginnings, but the group really enjoyed spending time together and more importantly we learned that we had an opportunity to help others along the way. He considers this combination of fun and genuine wanting to help as the equation for their 20 years of success as a charity.
Looking back over the last 20 years Hugh says one thing continues to drive him, The smiles on the face of the Special Olympics Athletes as we tee off on hole #1 of the annual golf outing, as all the participants watch and applaud. Its the single best sight of the outing year after year. This and several other factors play into each and every board members personal relationship with One For The Kids. Sometimes while doing good you also receive amazing opportunities. One year Hugh received a big surprise just for showing up to the golf outing.
I was walking in the parking lot of the golf course prior to the event and a car pulled up next to me and the driver asked are you on the golf committee? I replied yes and the next thing I know Johnny Lattner, the 1953 Heisman Trophy winner from Notre Dame is handing THE Heisman trophy to me to carry into the clubhouse. After the outing, Mr. Lattner let us use the trophy for a week or two until his next scheduled public appearance. We had a blast parading around with the trophy on the Southside.
As the organization continues to grow it takes on more charities and causes along the way. Hope Childrens Hospital has been a long time benefactor of One For The Kids events. Many board members have intimate connections with the charities they work so hard to donate to; Hugh Mclaughlin is no exception to this rule. When his daughter Grace was born she ended up spending 2 months at Hope Childrens Hospital, to under go two separate heart surgeries. Grace is now 14 years old and doing great, thanks to the care she received at Hope Childrens hospital. Its an honor to be a part of an organization that gives back to all of our charities and Hope in particular Hugh explained when asked how he felt about One For The Kids over the years.
As many of the board members agree, the main goal for Hugh is to help One For the Kids to continue to grow and flourish. Hugh also wanted to thank the board I want to thank all the board members who have picked up extra duties on my behalf, I moved to Wisconsin 12 years ago and I am still able to participate on this board because of their efforts. In case anyone is wondering, I am still a fan of DA BEARS! Although the last 20 years have seen many changes in location, attire, and hair lines; one thing remains the same the commitment to the cause and the friendship that helped it all begin.