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The Champion’s Champion – Remembering The King

It is with the greatest sadness we have learned of the passing of one of the Fellowship Open’s most beloved Honorees, Major League Baseball and Milwaukee Brewers Hall of Famer, and one of the greatest American athletes of all time, Henry Louis Aaron. With Mr. Aaron’s passing, a legacy of unparalleled ethical excellence, genuine philanthropy and community service now rests in eternal acknowledgement alongside the countless accomplishments and acts of kindness he has shared with young people and the entire world along the way. The Fellowship Open has been immeasurably impacted by the generosity Mr. Aaron has shown our organization and event from the very beginning. It was Fellowship Open Co-Founder Joe Kennedy and their mutual friend and ally Bud Selig who deserve credit for the indelible impression left upon the young minds and within the documented annals of Fellowship Open history.

Joe, one of Mr. Aaron’s closest advisors and confidantes, allowed us a path to greatness and a means to empower youth of color in Wisconsin and well beyond. Initially, through collaborative efforts with Mr. Aaron’s ‘Chasing the Dream Foundation’, a community partnership with the Milwaukee Brewers and a mutual passion to serve Milwaukee area youth, Joe and Fellowship Open Co-Founder John W. Daniels, Jr., partnered with Commissioner Selig to secure and further strengthen Mr. Aaron’s participation with the Fellowship Open and the Milwaukee community. That the Fellowship Open has been able to raise millions, touch thousands and give to hundreds of community and faith-based organizations and initiatives over 20 years is due in no small part to the vision and commitment of Henry Aaron.

To Henry's beloved wife Billye, you are instantly and forever within our embrace, only a call or text away. That your husband and partner, the Legend ‘Hammerin Hank’, took the time to stop by and visit with our young scholars on more than one occasion suggests far more about him than his athletic prowess. You, more than anyone, would know that. All of our love and support is eternally yours.

The somberness which accompanies the passing of a cherished family patriarch – further intensified by that person’s legacy of universal glory and achievement – seems impossible to fully articulate. The Fellowship Open community of family, friends, chairs, staff, sponsors, partners, and supporters salute the memory and achievements of Henry L. Aaron – a true American hero. There is no name above his that better represents the ideals upon which this nation was founded. The Fellowship Open is honored to have served in preserving his legacy and profoundly saddened at the passing of one of the most important figures in our lifetimes, who through his relationship with our best friend Joe Kennedy and his personal quests to serve, stopped by, brought along their friend Bud Selig, and in the process planted the seeds of excellence within the next generation of young leaders.

On behalf of the Fellowship Open and MKE Fellows family, our Honorary Chairs, staff, volunteers, supporters, and friends, we offer our sincere condolences and unconditional support in this time of grief. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.


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