Carla Tardif with Clay and Lindsey Buchholz and the children being honored at the Buchholz Bash in July 2016.
Carla Tardif with Clay and Lindsey Buchholz and the children being honored at the Buchholz Bash in July 2016.

In Boston, if you ask someone who their hero is, they will likely rattle off the name of one of our professional athletes. Boston takes its sports teams very seriously.  The next time you’re here, sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic, look around at the team stickers on the cars. Some of them even cover the entire back windshield. If it’s warm enough, roll down your window and you’ll hear sports radio blaring and maybe a driver yelling back at the radio in vehement disagreement with the host. If you’re on foot walking around town, you can tell our teams are winning because the mood is light, people will actually hold the door for you, they might smile at you or even say “Hello!” I won’t go into detail on what it’s like in Boston when our teams aren’t doing well. The bottom line is, our sports teams have a direct affect on all of us in Boston, whether we realize it or not.

But there’s more to the story and more to these athletes than we realize.

Some of them invest a majority of their personal resources into our great city, so much so that they actually make this a better place to live. I’ll even go as far as to say that in some cases, they are saving lives. Our athletes are so much more than members of a team; they are important members of our community.

But not everyone sees it that way. They don’t see that there are real people under those cotton or polyester team jerseys with a notable last name and a large number on the back.   They are people who have families, who lay awake at night thinking about how they can use their high profile position to help others, how they can capitalize on their great fortune to make them and their family proud.

I’m talking about people like Clay Buchholz who started a foundation in his name four years ago and who has raised and donated over $1 million to help families of children with cancer or autism access care and treatment. Clay and his wife Lindsay personally invest their time, money and emotions to help families through their darkest days. Clay is a prime example of an athlete who makes Boston a better place to live and who is literally saving lives.

So the next time you go to a game or encounter an athlete that gives back, think beyond the sport, thank them for going above and beyond and for being the kind of roll model we all want our children to look up to.

Family Reach is honored to partner with Clay Buchholz on and off the field. He’s a game changer.

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