It is not often that something on the sports channel grabs my attention. And as far as anything I would write about being newsworthy- well if it already on television, then I am late to the game to be talking about it here. But the Kick for Nick program shows us a powerful example of the partnership between vision and execution.
A young army private with a passion for soccer saw the possibilities of reaching out to children in Iraq. Nick Madaras could see that children playing soccer were much the same all over the world. And he could appreciate the difference between doing so in war-torn Iraq and his home in Connecticut. He asked his father to find soccer balls to ship to him there. But PFC Nick Madaras died in action before that shipment could arrive.
Enter now Ken Dartley, a veteran of the Korean war who did not even know the Madaras family. Ken did more than empathize when he heard about Nick’s desire to reach out through the game of soccer. He organized a process for collecting soccer balls that began by simply putting up a net outside the American Legion post and has grown expontentially since that small beginning.
If you watch the video at the link below, you will see the partnership of emotion and task in the form of vision and execution. Nick’s father is painfully open about his loss. And while he is active today in the process of collecting and sending soccer balls, you can hear clearly how unprepared he was at the time to take what was his son’s vision and get it into motion. Ken Dartley was moved by the story- and he was better equipped to put the idea into motion.
The website does not say how many balls have gone to Iraq, each one with “PFC Nick Madaras” written on it. But it should tell us something that they are working on handling bulk shipments. A wonderful example of the synergy created in a balanced partnership of vision and execution.
Website for the Kick for Nick Foundation: http://www.kickfornick.com/
ESPN piece with more information on the origins of Kick for Nick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uo0iPO8uYFk
Information about how to get involved here: http://www.kickfornick.com/page.php?page=address