Pinball to speak at fundraiser

Michael "Pinball" Clemons will speak at the Building for Tomorrow Fundraising dinner. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Winkler Times)

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Michael “Pinball” Clemons is coming to Winkler as part of the ‘Building for Tomorrow’ fundraising dinner hosted by the Salem Home Ladies Auxiliary and Salem Foundation.
Scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 1, the dinner will take place at the Winkler Bergthaler Mennonite Church with individual tickets at $100 and tables for eight at $800. (Half the amount paid is noted on a tax receipt.)
Funds raised will go toward the future expansion of Salem Home.
Salem Foundation Executive Director Sherry Janzen said the necessary expansion is still waiting for government funding.
“By 2036 we need 236 beds,” she said. Right now they have 135 beds.
“Lots of people are moving into Winkler or in the surrounding area,” she added. “We need to keep up with what’s happening in the community.”
Salem Foundation Chair Arlen Hildebrand said they are excited to get Pinball as the speaker and to work with the Salem Home Ladies Auxiliary.
“The common goal of the foundation and the auxiliary to provide Salem Home residents with the best possible lived experience, is the incentive for the second annual fundraising venture,” he said. “We’re very excited about the Nov. 1 Building for Tomorrow Dinner… and the opportunity to have a dynamic speaker like Michael Clemons tell his story of faith, sports and teamwork.”
Last year’s event raised about $70,000 (for the new Salem Dining Room) after expenses, and sold out before the end of July.
“There are only 480 tickets available… we anticipate they will go quickly… so we encourage anyone interested in attending to get their tickets as soon as possible,” he said.
Tickets for the event went on sale July 9 at the Salem Business Office (165-15th St. Winkler). Tickets are available at that location weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by phone at 204-325-4316.
About Pinball
To Canadians, the name “Pinball” stands for remarkable athletic talent, outstanding sportsmanship and a commitment to the community.
As a former all-star running back, Grey Cup winning coach, President and CEO of the Toronto Argonauts, Michael “Pinball” Clemons is a man of unquestionable character and spirit. He is equally renowned for his achievements on the football field as he is for his impact as a motivational speaker.
Pinball’s presentations are at once captivating and empowering. He inspires audiences by demonstrating what it means to beat the odds and encourages listeners to use teamwork to achieve their goals. Mike Clemons’ football career was characterized by incredible perseverance and great skill. At only 5 feet 6 inches and 170 pounds, he won against all odds. He succeeded while others predicted failure and gave more when less would have been satisfactory. “All Heart” is the story of a young man guided by fierce determination.
Born and raised in Florida, the William and Mary economics graduate began his career in the CFL in 1989 after a brief stint in the National Football League with Kansas City and Tampa Bay. As a player, Clemons compiled a brilliant CFL career with the Toronto Argonauts, including a pro-football record for most career combined yards with 25,396. On September 15, 2000, Pinball hung up his Argo’s jersey after 12 seasons to take the reigns as Head Coach.
As a player he retired a three-time Grey Cup Champion with 12 all-time team records to his credit. He has also won Grey Cup as the head coach of the 2004 Argo’s. Known for a personality that is as electric as his style of play on the field was, Clemons redefines the meaning of community involvement and has been recognized by many organizations for his tireless work with charities, schools and other community groups.
Michael is an athlete with true character, an incredibly generous spirit and a quiet dignity that shines on and off the field. Michael tells how his upbringing has shaped him, how his steadfast faith has always guided him and how his commitment to his team and his community is much more than just a professional veneer – but a deeply held feeling of true spirit and belonging.
More information on the dinner can be found at