The third annual Mike and Jessica McCarthy Golf Tournament to benefit American Family Children's Hospital in Madison exceeded its quarter-million-dollar goal last week, and the Packers head coach says he's just getting started.
"I'm a football coach so I'm wired on improvement every single day," McCarthy said. "So, $270,000 is above our goal of 250, but now there's another goal, and we will attain that and next year we'll be having this same conversation.
"It's very gratifying, and it's very rewarding to be a part of it. But I definitely want to raise more than $270,000 a year."
If the passion for this cause in McCarthy's words is evident, that's because it's genuine. He and his wife first visited the hospital three years ago and couldn't have taken up the cause any faster.
Overly impressed with the University of Wisconsin facility and the stories they heard as they visited with patients and their families, the McCarthys helped establish a two-day event including a banquet, auction and golf tournament that has seen rapid growth.
Buoyed by an eye-opening list of auction items this year that included a round of golf with "Dancing With The Stars" champion Donald Driver and a road trip, with dinner and hotel included, to the upcoming Packers-Bears game in Chicago, this year's event topped last year's proceeds by $100,000.
In addition, the McCarthys were named honorary co-chairs, along with supermodel Cindy Crawford, of the hospital's "Sick Kids Can't Wait" campaign, a four-year, $32 million building project that will add a total of 26 beds in pediatric intensive care, another operating room and imaging capabilities all designed and equipped specifically for pediatric patients.
"There have been so many unique exchanges with the families, and every story is very consistent in the high praise they have for the administration, the doctors, the care and their experience at the hospital," McCarthy said.
"To me, that really is the stamp of approval that you know you're part of a very unique place. Obviously, it's a time you hope none of us ever have to deal with, a child in a health situation, but this hospital continues to make an impact, not only for the child in need but also the way they treat the families."
With a family of five kids, the McCarthys wanted to become closely involved with a charity endeavor that would be both family- and child-oriented, and they feel they couldn't have found a better one.
"It's an opportunity to help children. I think that says it right there," McCarthy said. "But also, I feel a tremendous responsibility because of the position I hold here with the Green Bay Packers, to take advantage of those opportunities.
"I feel you have to give back to the community. The community is part of the development of any child. That was definitely the case in my upbringing in Pittsburgh, and I'm trying to make sure myself and my family are giving back, because we have been so blessed." To see a video of the McCarthys' visit with patients last week and/or to make a donation to American Family Children's Hospital in honor of the McCarthys, click here.