COLTS BLOG-TE DALLAS CLARK

Seventh-Year Veteran Tight End Dallas Clark will blog on www.colts.com bi-weekly throughout the season. In this installment, Clark discusses something very dear to him, his involvement with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

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Colts TE Dallas Clark Blog-October 9

This coming Tuesday, I'm hosting my annual dinner to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and it's one of the things that since I was a rookie, I have truly just fallen in love with—the foundation, what it does, who it helps and everyone involved. It started one day when I was driving into work, and Z99.5 had a telethon for the Make-A-Wish, and hearing the people calling in and telling their stories about their kids and what the Make-A-Wish Foundation did for them just hit my heart really hard. And from right then, I knew I wanted to help out in some way. So I contacted them and got involved, and ever since, I've been hosting a dinner to raise money. It's a fun event. We usually have a couple of kids come in and tell their stories and how the Make-A-Wish Foundation helped them and what their wish was and what they got to do. To feel that you're just a really small part of that, it's really special, and the people you get to meet and get to help, it's a great cause.

What really gets me is at the end of the telethon, they always do a dedication song to all the kids, and the song varies. They just intertwine call-ins from people who donated to people who call in with their stories, and they play a kind of dedication song. I mean, if you don't get choked up…it's pretty moving. It's just a little message of what these kids are going through and the fight they have to go through. And having this foundation giving them, sometimes it's their last wish.

You always pray for the best and hope that they beat their illness, but in these cases, a lot of times it doesn't happen that way. You have kids who don't even really get a childhood, and they're already fighting for their lives, and they still do it with a smile and do it with an encouraging attitude. Their attitude is contagious, and to see the fight that they give at such a young age, it's truly inspiring. For them to just get one time to not think about their illness, to not think about hospital visits or check-ups or all of this and that…it's just a chance for them to be with their family in whatever environment that they want and try to be a kid for one time in their life.

This way of giving back is just kind of my way, and everyone on the team gives back in different ways to whatever, wherever their heart is taking them and what they are inspired by. Peyton has a great foundation that helps out kids, and Jeff, Bob, a lot of guys have good foundations that help different individuals, different people, adults, kids, all ages. It's one of those things that when you're given this platform, I think it would be a shame to go through your whole career and not give back, because none of us would be here if it wasn't for the help of coaches, parents, teachers, community, family. We didn't get here without the help of something or somebody. To give back and to help out as much as you can, I think it should be a priority high on the list. It's one of those things I'll continue to do even after my career is over, helping out. I've already reached out to the Iowa Make-A-Wish Foundation and am trying to get involved with them, and I would love to help both places out as much as I can.

If anyone would like to learn about the Make-A-Wish Foundation, please visit www.wish.org.

I will keep updating you every couple of Fridays here throughout the season. GO COLTS!

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