Fitzgerald Clinic gives back to TRAC

Published 9:39 pm Friday, December 10, 2010

Never let it be said that the folks at the Fitzgerald Clinic do not understand community. The clinic won the grand prize in the Theo Ratliff Activity Center’s fundraiser raffle on Thanksgiving Day.

That grand prize, an autographed pair of Kobe Bryant basketball shoes, may have quickly ended up on Ebay if anyone else had won it. But, thanks to the generosity of the folks at the clinic, they now have found their home in the Theo Ratliff Activity Center.

“Anytime you have someone in the community that will return something of that nature, it is special,” Ed Ward, director of the Theo Ratliff Activity Center, said.

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Friday, Mack Fitzgerald showed up at the center to formally award the sneakers right back to the facility they were originally intended to benefit.

The sneakers were part of a raffle that acted as the first fundraiser by the board for the Theo Ratliffe Activity Center.

While Fitzgerald Clinic won the grand prize, first prize was an autographed pair of shoes from Pau Gasol, who wore the sneakers while playing for his native Spain in the FIBA World Basketball Championships. That prize went to David Reivley of Chattanooga, Tenn.

Second prize was a pair of shoes from Derek Fisher. The Laker point guard’s kicks went to Pat Caddell of Trussville.

Third prize was a pair of shoes autographed by the namesake of the center. Theo Ratliff’s shoes went to Felita Hood of Gallion.

“I think it was a very good idea, not only by the board but by the Lakers,” Ward said of the raffle, which earned approximately $3,200 for the center. “There are so many charities out in California they could have donated to and they chose to give to the Theo Ratliff Activity Center in Demopolis, Ala.”