John M. Smith Youth Sports Foundation to host second annual golf outing
A little over a year ago, longtime Glen Ellyn resident John M. Smith passed away at the young age of 72 due to heart surgery complications.
Smith was known by most in Glen Ellyn as "Coach" as he coached youth sports in Glen Ellyn since 1986. He began with his children's youth sports teams and then in 2004, after retirement from a corporate career, he joined the staff of the Glenbard South High School football, basketball and baseball teams as an assistant varsity coach paired along with various stints of head coaching of various sophomore and freshmen teams. He was a dedicated parent and coach for Glenbard South athletes for 30 years.
There are not many male athletes in the west side of Glen Ellyn during this era who were not coached by John Smith.
He is remembered as a coach who cared for his players beyond the field or the court. He taught them life lessons, teaching them about leadership, humility and kindness. He guided many athletes on their college searches and was known for his creativity to motivate and recognize his athletes. He was loved and admired by many.
So much that last August he had nearly 700 people attended his celebration of life service including the entire Glenbard South High School football team, many current and past coaches, teachers and administration and so many of his former players and their parents covering a 30-year span.
During the service his children spoke of the lessons he taught them as they coined the phrase "Be a Leader, Be Kind and Be Humble." They felt these words represented the message of their dad's legacy and what he would want others to learn from him the most.
These wise words now hang in multiple places at Glenbard South High School along with a plaque publicizing the Coach John Smith football award.
Last August, anticipating his 73rd birthday on Sept. 27, his sons started recruiting people to play golf with them on his birthday, to help ease the pain of not having him with them.
What started as a few people turned into the idea of holding a golf outing which then blossomed into turning the event into a fundraiser and then eventually the creation of the John M. Smith Youth Sports Foundation to raise money for young athletes.
A successful golf outing last August, along with private donation, has led to $40,000 raised by the foundation in the past 12 months.
The mission of the foundation is to empower young athletes to reach their potential in the sports they love. Shortly after Smith's death, his family learned that he would donate money to help athletes at Glenbard South who couldn't afford equipment.
The purpose of the foundation is to continue his legacy and reach even more athletes that need financial assistance for sports fees, equipment or college scholarships in the Chicago area and beyond.
On Sunday, Sept. 27, in what would have been his 74th birthday, the foundation will host its second annual golf outing at Village Links of Glen Ellyn to continue to raise funds for its mission.
The outing will be a shotgun scramble, starting at 1 p.m. You can enter as a foursome or as an individual. In addition to the golf, the driving range, unlimited drinks on the course and dinner are included in the $200 per person cost. The driving range will open at noon. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP for dinner only.
After the golf outing, there will be an All-American grill buffet dinner outside to go along with an open bar, an award ceremony, and connection time with old and new friends.
Anyone is welcome to sign up to play in the golf outing, to apply for funding, or to donate to the foundation.
More information and registration can be found at the foundation's website at www.jmsyouthsportsfoundation.org.