About a year ago, Andrea Page heard Michael “Pinball” Clemons speak at a conference.
The Stratford General Hospital Foundation’s executive director was blown away.
“There were about 1,500 people in the room and you could have heard a pin drop, everybody was enthralled with his presentation and style and message,” Page said Monday. “It just left that lasting impact, it was that ‘wow’ factor.”
She was so impressed she helped bring him to Stratford and take on the keynote role of the foundation’s annual general meeting, which will be held Tuesday at 5:15 p.m. at the Stratford Country Club. With Clemons known for his on- and off-field football prowess – the 53-year-old played a dozen seasons with the Toronto Argos and also coached the CFL club twice, winning multiple championships – the event’s theme is Going for a Touchdown.
Page said the meeting has two main purposes.
“It’s our opportunity to celebrate the year and report on the year and share information about our responsibility, the impact of donors and the impact giving has on the hospital and its ability to care,” she said. “But the keynote speaker is really our thank you to our donors, we try to bring in a different speaker that will inspire and invigorate and touch the hearts of our donors.”
Last year’s meeting had a Going for Gold theme as the guest speaker was Canadian Olympic rower Silken Laumann.
But Page emphasized patrons don’t need to have a wealth of football knowledge to appreciate Clemons’ speech.
“You do not need to be a sports fan to enjoy Pinball and his message,” she said. “It’s not about football, it’s not about sports, it’s Pinball talking about his life lessons.”
As for the foundation, a total of $1.7 million was donated in the last fiscal year, which contributed to the first CT scanner payment, a defibrillator, operating, pharmacy and lab equipment, and various other items.
“Right down to non-slip socks for falls prevention and everything in between, a truly comprehensive list of equipment that will truly impact not only the physicians and staff that use it, but especially the patients and their families,” Page said.
Some donors and volunteers received complimentary tickets, but the event is also open to the general public for $10 each.
“There’s still some tickets available,” she said. “If anybody has nothing to do tomorrow afternoon, for $10 to get access to such a fantastic…