Ohio Idols for Independence

A guest post today. It really speaks for itself.  If you have a moment, we appreciate your time. Thanks.

Hi! I’m writing to invite you, your family and friends to the first annual Ohio Idols for Independence benefit concert. Our goal is to raise thousands of dollars to help kids with cerebral palsy find their voice at home, at school and in their communities.

This event is close to my heart because my daughter, Adriana, lives with cerebral palsy. While she falls on the severe end of CP, the amazing advancements in technology have given her the gift of independent mobility and communication.

I believe when kids with CP find their voice, regardless of physical ability, they experience true independence. Some kids find their voice through music, sports or dance. Other kids, like Adriana, need specialized care and equipment to find their voice. And as many of you know, these things are expensive. Proceeds from the event go to The MJB Foundation to provide funding for children so they get the specialized care, equipment and services they need just to be a kid.

Please join us in helping kids with CP by purchasing your tickets TODAY! Tickets are just $16 and they are available online at www.ohio-idol.com. You can also purchase tickets directly through me by writing a check to The MJB Foundation for the number of tickets you want. Just send me an email and I’ll bring them to you.

If you have any questions, you can email me or call me at 614-309-0799. For information about The MJB Foundation visit www.mjbfoundation.org.

Thank you!

Patty Lyons

Patty Lyons
Parent & Chapter Leader
CP Parent Columbus, A Family Resource Group for Cerebral Palsy
Reaching For The Stars Central Ohio Chapter
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Never eat when you're angry

Ordinarily things like this just roll off my back, but today... Here's the story -

I went into a local eating establishment for lunch / dinner. (What do you call it when it's 4:00 p.m.?)

I was greeted with a hearty welcome to... Okay, no I wasn't, but I usually am.

A nice young lady came to the counter and asked me what I would like.

I'll have a.. "Um, excuse me," a voice interrupted from the side. "Can you tell me..."

The nice young lady went to answer that query.

Another young man came to the counter. "What can I get you sir?"

I would like a..."Um, can I get some water..." another voice interrupted... and the young man was gone.

Deep breath Jimmer. "Does somebody want to help me?"

The young man returned. "I'm sorry sir, what did you say?"

I said, "Does somebody want to help me?"

I just went to give that girl a cup. What, you having a bad day or something?

Insert screeching tire noise here. Did anybody else see that needle come off that record?

I couldn't help myself. "Forget it!" I snapped. I told the guy behind me to go ahead. To his credit, he just stood there and watched.

What sir?

I wheeled around - "She asked me what I wanted and then went to help that person. You asked me what I wanted and then went to help that other person. I.AM.STANDING.RIGHT.HERE...IN.LINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

"Um, do you still want your sandwich?"

I did. I was hungry, and I have a long night ahead of me.

He hustled to finish making my sandwich, the transaction ended. He chopped $.50 off the price of my sandwich and offered me a free drink which I declined.

I then learned an entirely new lesson.

Never eat when you're angry.

Commence stomach ache.


The Speech

(This is what it sounds like in my head. Who knows how it's going to come out...)

They say that: “Everyone who has ever passed through the doors of Bishop Ready knows that for as long as they live they have a home here and they are always welcome back.

Today, I feel that, and I thank you. I want to also thank those who nominated me, and accepted me into this select group. I am humbled by this honor, and I hope that in my life I am able to continue to do the work that brought me here, that is my passion. I want to thank an incredibly supportive family, a whole team of people, hundreds of supporters, and all the folks who inspire me to do the work I do. They’re the ones who deserve the recognition.

I was very nervous about being here today. I asked my girls, who some of you know, what I could say that wouldn’t make me sound like “some old” guy.

They just laughed.

So, I asked another friend, and she told me to just talk about what I do.  

As I look out at all of you I remember myself in those very same seats. I was excited for the future, even if I had no idea what that future held.

It took me sometime to figure it all out, and that’s okay. All I really knew was that whatever I did, it probably shouldn’t involve math. More importantly, I wanted to do it as best as I possibly could.

I learned here at Ready that each and every one of us has the ability to have an impact on our environment, and most especially the people around us.

Just being a Dad, carrying on my daughter Meghan’s legacy through our work with The MJB Foundation, and being the best Dad I can be to my daughters Kailey and Delaney I’ve found my life’s work, and somehow that lead me here today.

At The MJB Foundation we strive everyday to make sure that children, all of the children can know the real Joy that should be childhood.

As my children have grown I have stressed to them, and to their friends and other youth I have worked with, the importance of finding a way to enjoy their childhood.

That’s what life should be all about - Joy - and that is my wish for you today.

Thank you!

Taking Care of My Kids

Mr. Wright,

I'm going to begin by asking that you not send me the "canned response," and you not refer to what happened with your school's football team and the Westland High School Band as a mix-up.

This was not a mix-up. This was a blatant disregard for the rules. You know it, and I know it.

I still cannot believe that with more than 3 minutes left during halftime the Liberty football team actually  came onto the field while the band was still performing and refused to leave...even after their coach was asked by both the Westland band staff and the athletic director. (photo credit to Julie Prater)

In fact your coaching staff essentially told our band directors as well as parents in the press box, who were counting raffle money, that they didn't care that they were breaking the rules.

Did they also not care that children's safety was in danger? Two band members were kicked. That's two too many.

One wonders what your reaction might have been if your football players had pushed the wrong tuba player to the brink? That's a pretty heavy instrument.

Do you comprehend where this could go wrong on so many levels?

I learned afterward that the Liberty football team has a reputation of doing this repeatedly. REPEATEDLY? even to your own band at times.

That is wrong! An immediate, and unequivocal apology should be issued by every coach, and every administrator in your building to every band it has shown this type of disrespect.

I have friends whose children attend Olentangy Liberty. Their kids are good kids. I am confident that the kids on the football team are probably good kids just doing what they were told.

I am not, however as confident in the goodness of your coaching staff, or frankly in you sir with the copied and pasted response referencing a "mix-up."I have seen you give to many, MANY concerned parents.

It's a sad day when the adults are the ones who need to learn the lesson.

Please do the right thing here and apologize, and have your coaching staff apologize with assurance that this will not happen in the future. Don't apologize to me. Apologize to the Westland Band, every single member and director.

It is my understanding that several media outlets have been copied on many of these emails. One can only hope that at the very least the threat of bad publicity will compel you to do what is right.


Jim Brochowski
Westland Band Booster Treasurer

If Jim Brochowski can do it...

Maybe this is why:

As I stood up at third base I could see him looking at me and shaking his head. I had just smashed, (Hey I was 13 I still smashed things.) the ball into the fence in left field and while I was disappointed it didn’t go over I was also thrilled with what was probably the best hit of my life.
I scored on the next play and as I walked up to my Dad he said: “Just think how far it would have gone if it had been a strike.”


He was right though, the ball I hit was pitched almost over my head. As the infamous movie line goes: I like the high ones!

Now, I love my Dad and I don’t blame him for anything about my upbringing, but my point is I always have greater expectations, It’s taken a long time for me to learn how to be satisfied, and well, I don’t handle praise all that well.

The year to date has been a good one. The MJB Foundation has raised almost $7,000 with an event still to come, I’ve lost 42 pounds, (as of this morning), and I learned a couple of weeks ago that I’m to be inducted into my high school’s hall of fame, mostly for my work with the foundation.

Right and left I’m being congratulated and praised. Folks are using words like inspirational, and...

… And I have no idea how to handle this.

My wife even wants to have a celebratory get together after the HOF induction. She created a Facebook event, and made me a host so I can invite people who are on my friends list, but maybe not on hers.


“Hi, Come celebrate me?”

That just feels wrong. Egotistical, making a big deal out of nothing. To me, it’s just weird.

I feel like if I can do what I do, anybody can do what I do, and the reality is it’s not me. It’s an incredibly supportive family. It’s a whole team of people. It’s hundreds of supporters. It’s the folks who inspire me that help me do the things I do. They’re the ones who deserve the recognition.

I’m told I just need to learn to say thank you and move on, but when people are heaping this high praise, thank you doesn’t seem like enough. Not even close.

A friend once told me that she loves exclamation points because they add emphasis to what is otherwise ordinary. Okay - let’s give this a try...

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!