John Calipari has a knack for finding a way to make something that has already been successful even better. The old mantra of “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” has been replaced by “if it can work, how can I make it work even better?” Calipari knows the position he’s in as the head coach of the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team. He knows with that position comes a great reach, an access to utilizing the tools available around him to help others who do not have the same resources available to them. He knows that he has the backing of a passionate group of fans who can and will ban together to do whatever they can, no matter how big or small, to help others. Calipari has seen the power of Big Blue Nation in full effect and continues to find new ways to give access to great causes for those who have the means to do so.
John Calipari and Alltech are teaming up for a “Title Town” fundraiser in hopes to further help the situation in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake. As many will remember, soon after the disaster initially happened, Calipari helped initiate a “Hoops for Haiti” telethon, leaning on the support and big hearts of many Kentucky fans across the world. The initial efforts were able to raise over $1 million dollars, but Calipari was left to wonder if more could be done in the aftermath.
CoachCal.com has a great article from Eric Lindsey on the second wave of help Calipari is currently working on after a follow-up visit to Haiti last summer.
“I was almost depressed,” Calipari said. “(Dr. Lyons) said, ‘Why aren’t you singing? Why aren’t you happy?’ I’m like, ‘Happy? I don’t understand even if we help educate, what are they going to do?’ There is no infrastructure. There are no public schools. They were getting water, putting it into jugs and then going into a tent. There was no road.”
The article talks about how Calipari expected to see more progress during his latest visit to Haiti. He was caught off guard by just how much was left to do. Calipari noted that the first wave or relief effort was used to keep people alive, to help immediately. Lives were saved because of the generosity of people across the world, many with Kentucky basketball ties. Calipari’s worry though was that a more lasting effect was still needed. Haiti is still in great need of continued help in the rebuilding process.
According to Eric Lindsey, Calipari and Alltech have teamed up to provide additional funds. The two joined together to host a dinner last night, with all of the proceeds going directly to charity. Over 100 guests had the opportunity to spend time with the likes of Calipari and Joe B. Hall. Funds will also be drawn from limited edition bottles of “Title Town” Town Branch Bourbon that commemorate the national championship.
“Every single penny will go to Haiti.”
Calipari is once again finding a way to use his position for a wonderful cause, one in which he has already contributed to in a big way once before. I don’t think it’s merely a coincidence that just this past Sunday, one of his players (Nerlens Noel) took the time to Skype with a young Kentucky boy, Lane Goodwin, who is currently fighting cancer. Calipari is constantly setting an example for the young men on his team that with their immense talent and future fame, they can do truly great things– things that not just anyone could do as easily.
The article closed with one of the better Calipari quotes I’ve ever seen, a quote that can be applied in a variety of life situations far beyond the scope of basketball:
“Whatever you do, if you do it from your heart, if you do it with passion, you can gather people because nothing of significance in this world will be done by one person. It will be done by a team of people, and you need gatherers to bring people toghether.”
Visit CoachCal.com for links to help with Calipari’s second effort for Haiti.
(h/t CoachCal.com) Bottles will be available in stores in Lexington by early next week.