“Nachas,” also spelled “Naches,” is a Yiddish word meaning that you are happy and proud, especially, according to the Jewish English Lexicon, the “proud pleasure, special joy-particularly achievements of a child…” Sometimes we don’t like to shower our teenagers with too many compliments for fear of swelling their heads. Thus, reducing their motivation.
As a father of a teenage boy, Ben Myerow, I feel much nachas about his recent accomplishment in forming his own 501(c) (3) not-for-profit. With his friend Ari Zebersky, Ben started Sunshine Gameday Inc. I witnessed them spending countless hours asking questions and filling out government forms to bring their dream to reality.
Sunshine Gameday Inc. was inspired by Ben’s love of professional sports and his longing to attend as many pro games as his schedule and my budget would allow. The boys conceived the idea of “giving back” to community by taking disadvantaged local kids to the games with them. They built a website, started a Gofundme campaign, promoted themselves to local community leaders, and found groups of kids to help. There is nothing more worthy, in my humble opinion, than seeing your own son organizing an event to bring local at-risk kids to a ball game. Watching my teenager buying souvenirs, hot dogs and pretzels for a group of local orphans will be a cherished memory.
A little boy a few years ago, is now a young man who is calling corporate sponsors, writing business letters and conducting himself like an adult. It is supremely satisfying as a father. I did not have the chance to show my own dad what I could do in life since he passed when I was just 13 years old. So, I relish every moment of fatherhood in all my children’s accomplishments. Ben has shown me that with a little guidance young people can do great things.
Although he is a high school junior and will only be under my roof for another 18 months, my hope is that he can take this idea to the next level. I am encouraged by his boundless enthusiasm, and desire to continue to build the organization wherever he attends college. He is starting to think on a greater scale by asking himself what potential exists to have a Gameday affiliate in multiple cities. Baby steps can lead to big things. The boys have a number of upcoming events on the calendar and I will be beaming with pride each time they bring joy to South Florida’s disadvantaged youth.