Board member Ed Flaherty obviously has a heart for the work of Common Hope. Not only was he very instrumental in financing the construction of New Hope School. He has also just published a book called Coached for Life, which describes a 40-year retrospective of a group of men who played on the same state championship-winning football team in high school. The book describes how the young men’s experience on the team, and the lessons they learned from their coaches, continue to shape their lives in positive ways to this day. This particular story takes place in Montana, but its message is universal.
Flaherty describes well in his book the long-term change that educators and mentors can have in the lives of children and young adults. This is what Common Hope is all about, and Flaherty has been a loyal supporter for many years. A quote by John Gagliardi in the foreword to the book sums it up well: “The work of any successful coach or teacher cannot — and should not — be viewed solely by whether, at season’s end, his or her team has earned the label of champion. Rather, [it] can only be measured years later — after the lessons, values, and principles they instilled in their players have had the chance to manifest themselves in the form of their players becoming better parents, spouses, community leaders, teachers, and, perhaps even, coaches. … Coaches and teachers have compiled more ‘wins’ than most of us will ever realize.”