“Our monetary goal was lofty,” Pearl said. “We thought we would be able to write a check for $100,000 to Children’s Harbor. I’m pretty pleased to say that we will be writing a check closer to the area of $150,000 after everything gets paid for.”
Pearl was hired by Auburn in March and his team will play its first exhibition game on Nov. 7th with an exhibition game vs. West Alabama that is already soldout.
“We got to Auburn and my wife (Brandy) and I were looking for a place that we could put our heart and soul into, somebody that was already doing a great job of making a difference in the lives of children and families,” Pearl said.
“We found Children’s Harbor on Lake Martin. We heard a story about what they do for kids with challenges and their families at the (Benjamin Russell) Hospital for Children in Birmingham and it was just a great fit. I’m grateful to the leadership at Children’s Harbor for allowing me to put my name, our family and the Auburn basketball program on this golf tournament to raise money to help them do the amazing job that they do.”
On Sunday the Pearls opened their house to guests for a dinner auction.
“Last night at my home we had 250 people there,” he said. “God blessed us with a beautiful night. My players were out there on the golf carts picking these fans and donors up and thanking them for being there and letting those guys know they have to have a serving heart.
“We have a day off today. It’s a Monday. We normally would practice today, but we are not practicing today. We are giving and we are serving and I want them to be able to appreciate the value in that.”
Myrle Grate, the chief operating officer of Children’s Harbor, thanked the Auburn coach for his help.
“I really appreciate everything coach has done for us and all the support he has lent to us,” Grate said. “Children’s Harbor raises every dime we have every year. We don’t get any government subsidies or funding, we raise everything through private individuals so this fundraiser means that 5,000 kids can come to camp next summer and 35,000 people can come through our family center next year and receive support services.”
Commenting on the event, Pearl said, “It really isn’t me giving back, it’s really about me helping the community give back. One of the reasons we didn’t do this in Auburn is because our program has to be regional. It has to be able to attract from Birmingham and Montgomery and the Auburn area. Lake Martin is right here in the heart of our great fan base. We aren’t really giving back, it’s just giving everyone else a vehicle to support such an amazing cause.”
Children’s Harbor’s mission is to help children with serious illness and their families. This is done at both the Lake Martin campus and the Birmingham Family Center. The 66-acre lake campus provides no cost camping facilities to more than 20 different non-profit organizations. The Family Center at the Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children offers seriously ill children and their families free counseling for everyone involved, education services and tutoring, scheduled activities, an exercise room, a library, salon, laundry facilities and much more.
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