Every Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. a group gathers in the kitchen area of the Minneapolis center to listen to Sean Latterner speak. He has complete command of his audience, what is his topic? Finance? Politics? Movies? Nope, it is sports and his followers wait anxiously to hear the outcome of their previous weeks picks. Who will have the highest percentage of correct sport predictions? Only Sean knows the answer to the question.
Sean works as a financial adviser at Minneapolis Financial Group in the AT&T Tower on Marquette Avenue. He learned about Lifeworks last spring in a Minneapolis Star Tribune article. The article was about a Lifeworks client working at a local business and it made Sean think about his best friend’s sister who has Down syndrome. He has known his friend and sister since the fourth grade and has first hand knowledge how much it means to her to have friends and feel included. Sean wanted to volunteer with us but wasn’t sure what he could offer or what our needs might be. After visiting with him for a while I knew the perfect match, sports!
Many of Lifeworks clients love sports, all kinds, not just the typical ones like baseball and football. They love talking about the world of sports, the players, the scores, the standings, the victories and the defeats.
Sean has his time with the group down to the same level of preciseness that his work as a financial advisor requires. First he interviews the group, what they did since the last get together, what sport they participated in or observed, and how do they think they did on their predictions. Then he goes in for the juicy part of the meeting, who scored the highest percentage of correct scores. The day I was there Janice came in second on the picks. Her smile told it all, coming in second was good, and spending time with Sean was wonderful. When Kyle came in the room, his first words were, “Oooh Sean is here!” “We’re talking sports, that’s Sean’s routine.” All the while that Sean is in the room Nick works with paper and crayons drawing his favorite subject, sport paraphernalia.
I asked Sean why he takes time in the middle of his day to walk over to Lifeworks and he told me that he really enjoys his Wednesday outing.
“It is a nice change of pace. It breaks up my week, gives me a chance to clear my head from work. The group likes it, they like me and I like them.”
Kyle, a Lifeworks client, told me that when he retires he would like to be a professional bowler. Right now he is satisfied with his job at the Hilton Garden Inn and Wednesdays with his friend Sean, the sports guy.
Sean wraps up the meeting with a list of eight upcoming sporting events for the next weeks meeting. He has chosen the Twins, Vikings, Gophers and several other random sport challenges. He asks each member who they pick and then records their response with his permanent blue ink pen. Who will be next week’s best predictor? Nobody knows, after all this is sports, all kinds of things could happen.
Sean is not our only sports fan, we have Eric Olson, an employee of Ecolab, at Eagan, and Matt Groff, a student and sibling in Bloomington helping our clients cheer on their favorite teams.
How about you? Would you consider volunteering at Lifeworks? If you tell me your interests I’ll bet there is someone here who would enjoy your company. Sean is one example of our generous volunteers who make time for others. Thank you Sean, Eric, and Matt. Go Twins!