ND fans know “Flash” Gordon not as a cheesy space hero, but as the outstanding outside linebacker who helped Notre Dame win the national title in 1988. Jimmy Johnson was no doubt a more formidable adversary than Ming the Merciless, but today, Flash takes on a tougher foe than both, and could use our help.
In 2001, after picking up his JD and a stint with the NCAA, Flash went to Richmond, IN, to work as CEO for the Wernle Children’s Center. I’ve talked about Wernle on NDN before … a place where troubled kids can go to get their lives back on track and be positioned to contribute positively for society. Since his arrival, Wernle’s profile has (as you’d expect) moved up in the world a bit. In 2014, the Performance-Based Standards Institue recoginzed Wernle as one of the three best facilities in the nation for working with young people. Flash also has been recognized for his efforts, notably Notre Dame’s William D. Reynolds award “in recognition of his work for the betterment of the quality of life for youth”.
Flash’s enthusiasm about his work and his charges is infectious, and every time I talk to him, I want to help more. Looking at the calendar, I’ve seen an opportunity — an opportunity I want to share with the NDN faithful in the hope we can make something happen.
On Thursday, September 21st, Wernle is hosting its annual Catalyst4Change event. The honoree this year is Nicholas Sparks, famous author and Notre Dame alumnus, and the usual retinue of former players and other luminaries will be on hand.
My two-part goal to help make this evening a success: Find some sponsors, and fill a table. But I can’t do that alone.
First, sponsors. The possibilities can be found on the Wernle website event page. If your company has a charity budget, or even is looking for a chance at some good PR, this is your chance to do some good with it. Contact Eric Burkhart via the link on the page and he can tell you how to get involved.
Second, tickets. They officially go on sale August 14th, and the link above will provide those details when they’re available. So if you’re an NDN reader in Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus, Indianapolis, Toledo, or even South Bend / Chicago, give some thought to supporting a good man and a great cause. While Richmond may not be next door, it’s a reasonable drive for what stands to be an excellent event.
If you can’t attend the dinner and don’t carry enough weight to be a sponsor but want to donate, so much the better. Either way, tell them you’re with the NDNation group. Let’s show Flash and the Wernle folks what the ND family can do.