Before Jason Collins

Before Jason Collins
The world is throwing a parade for Jason Collins, the 7-foot free-agent NBA center who came out last month. He was hugged by Oprah, celebrated by “Good Morning America,” and congratulated by President Obama.

But nobody seems to remember baseball’s Glenn Burke, who tried to come out nearly 40 years ago and was stuffed back in.

“How’s Jason Collins going to talk about being the first?” says Burke’s agent, Abdul-Jalil al-Hakim. “Glenn Burke was the first. And he wasn’t any free agent, either. He was in the lineup.”

Glenn Burke was a barrel-chested jokester, a singing, dancing, one-man cabaret. His teammates called him King Kong. In high school, the 6-foot Burke could dunk two basketballs at once, in street shoes. He roamed center field for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Oakland A’s in the late 1970s.

Burke was the pulse of the clubhouse. He wore a red jock. He’d jump in the backs of pink Rolls-Royces after games. He invented the high-five (with Dusty Baker). Oh, yes, he did.

He was as out as an athlete could be in the mid-1970s. It wasn’t that he was flaunting it. It was that he couldn’t keep it in.

“When we’d land at airports,” remembers Davey Lopes, the Dodgers’ second baseman. “There’d always be guys waiting for Glenn. We’d go our way and he’d go off on his merry way. We’d go to clubs and women would hand him their numbers. But he’d never call ’em. Didn’t matter to us. We loved him.”

In the famous 1977 Dodgers-Yankees World Series — starring Reggie Jackson, Thurman Munson, Steve Garvey, and Ron Cey — only one rookie cracked either starting lineup: Glenn Burke.

“Nobody tripped that he was gay,” says Burke’s longtime pal, Doug Harris, who produced the documentary “Out” about Burke in 2010. “The people who tripped off it were the Dodgers [management]. They didn’t want to talk about it. He was trying to tell the reporters, but they said they couldn’t write that stuff.”

Free Tickets to GOAPELE- Yoshis, S.F., 5/1 @8pm; Tank- Yoshis, Oakland, 4/24 @8pm; A List Celebrities Comps for Kentucky Derby, May 5-7, 2011; New Entertainment Jobs May-April 2011!

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December 2010 Relief Mission to Haiti

December 2010 Haiti Relief Mission
Thank you in advance for your continued support and prayers and I hope this brief note finds you and yours in the best of health and spirits. The Aaron & Margaret Wallace Foundation with Stepping Together are planning a December Haitian Relief Mission and the dates have been finalized as November 30, 2010 to December 7, 2010! We will again be working with Arch Bishop Joel Jeune, one of the most powerful men in Haiti as head of the Catholic Church, and the people of Haiti that he serves at Grace Village, the compound of his organization Grace International, in the Carrefour district of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the epicenter of the earthquake.

As you know, the Village has become a refuge center, housing almost 30,000 quake victims and the compound is located precisely where the earthquake did the most damage. Most of the homes and neighborhoods surrounding Grace Village have been highly damaged, if not devastated, leaving hundreds of thousands of people dead and injured.

We will be working and living (in guest houses) on site, providing OBGYN care, possibly primary care (depending on staffing), health education and social support including mental health counseling. Our focus for OBGYN will be developing an ongoing clinic as there is a great need for prenatal services.

Supplies Needed for Haitian Mission

The following supplies are urgently needed for the Mission:
1) Portable Ultrasound Machine
2) Fetal Monitor
3) Laboratory Testing Equipment
a) Urinalysis kits
b) Glucometers with strips, lancets, alcohol swabs
c) Hemoglobin/hemotocrit
4) Fetoscopes (50)
5) Medicines: antibioticsanti-diabetics, antihypertensives, hormonal, prenatal vitamins, multivitamins, anesthetics, Insulin,
6) Condoms, contraceptive hormones, IUD
7) Blood pressure cuffs (100)
8) Patient gowns (1,000)
10) Gynecololgy Equipment
a) Speculums (100), assorted sizes
11) Laboratory Equipment: urinalysis, Glucometer (with strips, lancets, alcohol swabs), Hemaglobin/hematocrit, hemocult slides
12) Birth Control Supplies and Medicines: condoms, BCP, IUD, etc.
13) Biopsy equiptment: cervical biopsy, breast biopsy, etc.
14) Colposcopy, cryotherapy, LEEP machine

Also, we are looking for providers who are interested in teaching as this was an urgent request from our hosts but this is dependent on us hiring translators. As such we are looking for Kreyol-speaking nurses and providers to assist us. Currently there is an RN from New York City who is willing to attend however she is in need of financial assistance. This particular RN worked with us on previous mission and her help was invaluable. If you or anyone in your organization can fund her trip costs that would be fantastic.

Other services are dependent on getting sufficient volunteers. So spread the word, this mission is open to all volunteers but our capacity is limited and preference will be given to early responders. If they have not participated on one of our previous missions then they should send their CV and the completed Volunteer Waiver forms as soon as possible. The forms are available upon request.

I want to know if you are interested in participating with the Aaron & Margaret Wallace Foundation and Dr. Kenya Numan with Stepping Together to aid the people of Haiti, and if so, please send me your notice asap. I have attached herein below pictures of Dr. Numan during the Mission to Haiti July 24, 2010 to service the Arch Bishop at the Village and it was a great success for all that lead to this mission!

There is much work to do and the Aaron & Margaret Wallace Foundation with Stepping Together are committed and prepared to work with you and your organizations to raise funds and organize continued relief efforts to provide assistance to countries around the world, especially Africa, the Carribean and South/Central America.

We look forward to your response and “Thank you ALL” in advance.

Respectfully,

Abdul-Jalil
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