Former Flyer helping children with golf tourney

DAVID W. UNKLE -- SLAM! Sports

, Last Updated: 7:37 AM ET

PHILADELPHIA — Spend five minutes talking with former Philadelphia Flyer, Brian Propp, and you’re sure to touch upon a few of his favorite subjects.

For the Lanigan, SK native, family always comes first, but it’s tough to figure out whether hockey or golf reigns supreme in the heart of the former NHL player and assistant coach.

There’s another side of the unobtrusive Propp, now a member of the Flyers’ radio broadcast tandem with Tim Saunders. And were it not for the need to publicize his participation, the general public might go unaware of the passion that resides in his heart.

The eight months of winter in the Saskatchewan town of approximately 300 citizens offered many opportunities, as long as it consisted of either ice hockey or curling. The son of a Lutheran minister, Propp also learned what it meant to make a difference in the lives of others.

It’s also what led him to the Variety the Children’s Charity.

In 1928, Variety began when an infant arrived on the steps of the Sheridan Square Theatre in Pittsburgh, PA with the following note pinned to her clothing:

“Please take care of my baby. Her name is Catherine. I can no longer take care of her. I have eight others. My husband is out of work. She was born on Thanksgiving Day. I have always heard of the goodness of show business and I pray to God that you will look out for her.”

Catherine was raised for the first five years of her life by the actors who performed their circus act under “the Big Top” at the Sheridan, the “tent” later becoming a symbol for the groups which comprise Variety the Children’s Charity. She was then raised by foster parents, and went on to become a registered nurse in the United States Navy.

Today, the Variety the Children’s Charity has become a worldwide network of volunteers striving to help children in need.

During the NHL All-Star break, Propp is launching his annual golf tournament (January 22-24, 2007) at the Embassy Suites Los Marlin’s at Grand Resort, within the exclusive Metro Country Club in Juan Dolio, Dominican Republic.

“From a young age, many people in the Dominican Republic work 2-3 jobs just to help support their family,” said Propp.

“Most of the children in the Dominican Republic have limited access to primary school education and overall, there’s a lack of classroom space.”

The commitment of Propp and Variety the Children’s Charity is to improving the lives of children in the Dominican Republic by offering financial assistance and support to organizations and agencies that benefit children in need.

Monies are also used to provide needed medical services or equipment for seriously ill and physically challenged children in the Caribbean country.

Variety International is actively providing assistance to countless children of all ages regardless of race, creed or color in Australia, Barbados, Canada, Channel Islands, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States. With over 14,000 members and volunteers, Variety International has raised over $1.5 billion USD to benefit children.

For additional information on Variety Children’s Charity, Dominican Republic Golf Outing, please contact Brian Propp at: brianpropp@hlfg.com or visit the Variety International website at: www.varietychildrenscharity.org

David Unkle can be reached at: mailto:topcatsports@canoemail.com


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