Recently, I was honored to once again help out my good friend Reggie McKenzie and his foundation on the occasion of it’s 50th anniversary. Ch-7 franchise news anchor Carolyn Clifford served as mistress of ceremonies and was spectacular. She is a dear friend of my wife Robbie Timmons and a class act all the way. It was so great to see her, and catch up.
I also had the pleasure of seeing friends Lomas Brown, Tom Seabron, Gregory Kelser, and many others. What a great night! But, the most important part of the evening was celebrating Reggie’s commitment to the young people in his hometown of Highland Park, and the incredible work his foundation has done over the last fifty years in lifting the lives of others through education and athletics.
On hand to honor Reggie and sing the praises of his foundation were Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard, and NFL Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis, who personally benefitted from his experience as a McKenzie camper back when he was a youngster growing up in Detroit.
Reggie and I were team mates at Michigan and when we arrived on campus in 1968, neither of us had any idea our lives would roll together over the years as they have. Reggie graduated from Michigan and went on to a fabulous NFL career. But, Reggie never forgot his roots. He never forgot his sense of responsibility to leave his home better than when he was growing up. His idea for a foundation started while he was in college. Through his own commitment and his friends and family, he found a way to grow this idea into a movement. And, here we were 50 years after his foundations humble beginnings celebrating a half century of service, and more importantly, SUCCESS!
I can’t tell you how amazing Reggie’s foundation has been. He reached out and got corporate help. He reached out and got help from his friends. He reached out and got community support. He reached out and got government support. He found a way. And today, thousands of young people who came through his foundations athletic or educational programs are thriving int todays world.
They say you are never bigger than when you stoop to help a child. If that is the case, then Reggie McKenzie is a giant of epic proportion. I am honored to call him a friend. He is a treasure in our community. I could not have had a better team mate when I was at Michigan. And, Highland Park, and Detroit could not have a more impactful favorite son.