It is sometimes the most maligned who do the most good; and that might be said of high school sports officials.
Many MHSAA registered officials are key contributors to the quality of life in their communities; and as a group, MHSAA registered officials are key contributors to pediatric medical care in this state.
This year is the tenth that the MHSAA has been engaging its 11,000 registered officials in raising funds for Michigan’s four Children’s Miracle Network facilities: Beaumont Children’s Hospital, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Sparrow Hospital and Hurley Medical Center.
Primarily through voluntary self-assessments during their annual registration process, officials have contributed approximately $60,000 to these four facilities.
In addition, a half dozen local officials associations have developed programs that regularly support their closest CMN facility. For example:
- The Metro Detroit Officials Association sponsors the Referees for Reading Program at Beaumont where monies raised help fund a pediatric ward book cart which is replenished annually with new titles for patients and parents to enjoy. The MDOA has sent its members to the pediatric unit to read to young patients. This year, the Eighth Annual MDOA Officials for Kids Golf Outing was held in Livonia, benefiting Beaumont Children’s Hospital and the reading program.
- The West Michigan Officials Association has included Officials for Kids in its annual community service initiatives for several years, assisting with a Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital event for visually impaired pediatric patients in Grand Rapids.
- The West Michigan Volleyball Officials Association has used the proceeds of an annual volleyball invitational it hosts to support Officials for Kids.
- Several associations, including the Capital Area Officials Association this spring, have sponsored a “Give-A-Game” event during the season where all officials on the same day contribute their game fees to Officials for Kids.
People can say what they want about sports officials. For my part, if my car breaks down anywhere in Michigan and I’m in need of quick assistance, I’ll check my officials directory. I know there will be an official nearby that I can count on.