April has started with a bang! It’s been an incredible week, one I call the greatest week in sports. I saw North Carolina win the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Monday night with a 71-65 win over Gonzaga in Glendale, Arizona. North Carolina matched what Clemson did — they came back and beat Alabama in the college football playoff championship.
As you’ll recall, LeBron James led Cleveland to win over Golden State in the NBA Finals rematch last year. And two years before that, Kansas City came back to win over New York in the World Series. In each case, the teams returned to grab the title after the heartbreak of losing a championship the previous season.
Locally, the Twins started the season fast by sweeping the Kansas City Royals 7-1-9-1 and 5-3 at Target Field. This, after failing over 19 years and 74 major championships.
Finally, Sergio Garcia grabbed his first major title by beating Justin Rose, the Gold Medal winner, in a dramatic playoff at Augusta to capture his first Masters title.
To cap off the week, the 13th Annual Carol Fitzgerald Memorial Fund (CFMF) Benefit & Celebration drew several hundred people for dinner and fellowship. The sports-themed events, with remarkable and priceless memorabilia and auction items, honored the great memory of my late wife Carol.
The events drew rave reviews, with the highlight being the return of native son Larry Fitzgerald, Jr., a 10-time Pro Bowler and Co-NFL “Walter Payton Man of the Year.” Artist Mike Phillips headlined the event, bringing soulful yet funky grooves to the celebration.
The benefit at the Minneapolis Event Center April 7, raised thousands for organizations in the battle against breast cancer, and in support of HIV prevention and urban education. An after-party at Seven Ultra Lounge followed. The community celebration took place Saturday, April 8, at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park in Minneapolis.
The 2017 grant winners were: Horizons Youth Program at Sabathani Community Center, Minneapolis North Boys Basketball, New Beginnings Church After School Program, Page Education Foundation, Plano Child Development Center, Summit University Teen Center, Swish Dreams, Xavier University Alumni, HAS Program, Minnesota African American Women Pillsbury HIV Health Education Program, African American Breast Cancer Alliance, Butterfly 4 Life Support Network and the Pay It Forward Fund.
North Point Heath & Wellness CEO Stella Whitney-West delivered an impassioned message about her late friend Carol and how it has impacted her career path.
The Fitzgerald family is appreciative of family and friends (Faith-Focus-Finish) who came from all corners of the United States to support this remarkable cause. We again thank you.
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.