OK, so this is hardly a surprising headline, especially for us who live here in San Diego, but it’s worth saying again. Nancy and I were able to go to Cooperstown in July to see Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripkin inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame. This past Saturday we went to a dinner for the San Diego Foundation where Tony and Alicia were the keynote speakers.
The Foundation is a pool of resources; people who have money they wish to donate can combine with other people. The Foundation provides resources and information so individuals and groups can find good places to donate. It also provides a place where funds can be invested prior to being donated. Nancy’s father has a fund called the Graff Family Foundation (that we will administer when he’s done with it); he was invited to the dinner but given the keynote speakers he gave the tickets to us. It was wonderful.
Tony and Alicia also administer a fund called the Tony and Alicia Gwynn Foundation. After dinner, instead of giving a speech, they answered questions and talked about how they continue to give back to the community. They are both articulate in their belief that they have worked hard, but have also been blessed. Alicia is an ordained minister and talked about how “to whom much is given much is expected” (Luke 12:48). Tony talked about how he is a public figure and he needs to act like one. He spoke about helping children make good decisions by being good role models. He is certainly that.
The funniest part of the evening was before the dinner when I introduced myself to him. I shook his hand and said: “Hello, I’m Tom Allain.” He smiled and said: “Hello, I’m Tony Gwynn.” As if I didn’t know who he is. But somehow the fact that he didn’t assume his fame was refreshing. I’m sure he won’t remember me but I’ll never forget meeting him.