Dear Team Focus,
My time at the Team Focus camp has been the most amazing week of my life by meeting all the great NCAA and NFL players. I loved learning at all the lectures, it has helped me especially the manners!!! This week I felt really special and that there are people who care for me other than my grandmother who is raising me. I have met a lot of new, great friends. The sports we played showed me what the word “teamwork” really means along with sportsmanship. I truly felt that I have gotten closer to God. And I will try to work hard on all the manners that has been shown to me during this “too short” of a 5 day camp. I only pray that everyone got home safely and hope I can come back next year and see you all again. I love you all as my brothers and thank you for this great week at camp!!!!!!
- Aaron Andrew Culp
This is a letter to you about how your life has affected mine. It was a few years ago that I first started going to Team focus. At first, I was uncomfortable and really couldn’t find my role in it all. Nonetheless, I participated and did my best. Then one day, as I sat in a lecture daydreaming, I heard in the back of my mind saying try it, just give it a chance, and as stubborn as I am, this was too powerful to pass up.
It is now years later, and I am sitting in a hotel room in a world opposite of mine. I have the country station on and all I can think is that I have been so blessed because of one man. That man is you. Sadly, there are no words to express my gratitude, but know if there were they would bring tears that would not be able to be controlled.
I am not one to openly express myself so know that I may not seem ecstatic on the outside but rest assured I am. No matter what direction life takes either of us, never forget that I love you and thank you. You were the reason I kept going. My life was headed for an inevitable end. I felt unloved and worthless, but your acts enabled me to love myself and value my own life. So now it’s been said and I want you to know that you saved me from myself and that’s why I say words cannot express my gratitude.
Take care, coach and thank you,
- Alfredo DeLaMora
Las Vegas Chapter
Good evening, Team Focus team:
I write to you this evening upon returning from chaperoning my daughter’s soccer camp at Cal Baptist University in Riverside, California. While I was there, a group of young men affiliated with your organization were attending their leadership camp at the same time as our soccer club. I felt a compelling need to write you all to let you know how impressed I was with your group and what an impact they had on both my daughter and me.
The young men were extremely respectful, generous, poised and polite – and I must add very tolerant of a lively group of adolescent girls who seemed to overtake whatever room they entered. My daughter, who is ten, came up to me on a few occasions telling me how polite and nice the boys were to her and her friends. She told me (talking about the cafeteria), “Mama, those boys are so nice! They let us go in front of them in line and they let us go in front of them to leave. I can’t believe how nice and polite they are!” Each time we saw them at meals, she would say the same thing and her teammates would chime in with “I know! They’re so nice!” Several of the parents who chaperoned with me mentioned this too, along with how friendly and positive the group leaders and counselors were. Today as I was finishing my lunch, one young man came up to me and asked if he could take my plate for me (to the area where you discard of your trays). I was taken back by his generous offer and quite touched.
As a single mother of a young lady who is trying to teach her now what character traits to look for in friends and in an eventual partner, I can’t tell you how much I appreciated being around these young men and for her to be exposed to such a positive experience. I believe she truly noticed the difference in their behaviors and manners compared to those of her male friends in her everyday environment. My daughter even told me, “I need to have my dad and my brother go to this program so they can learn how to respect women!”
I applaud your program and your desire to instill in these young men a sense of worth, integrity and positive teamwork. I believe your effort will go far beyond each individual young man you work with… the impact will be felt at a deeper level and it will continue to have a ripple effect on us all… inspiring us all to aspire toward high values and character and choosing to surround ourselves with those who choose the same path. Pay it forward…
Thank you for what you do and please keep inspiring us all!
- Amy Thorne
You’ll never know how much the boys and I appreciated your visit last night. I know without any doubt the boys loved the attention you showered on them! At mini camp when I inquired about the possibility of someone having donuts with Grant at school, the response without any hesitation just blew me away. But this is the first “daddy event” Grant has gone to without any tears and it’s something he’ll always look back on with fondness.
As I’ve said before, please let me know if there’s ever any way I can be of service to Team Focus. Being so close to Maryville College and the airport, I would be honored to be of service in any capacity.
Again, many thanks for being an extended part of my family!
It is my pleasure to extend my warm greetings to those gathered at your Summer Leadership Camp dinner.
Congratulations to the fine young men who have successfully completed camp. I am sure you leave this week with many new friends, fun memories and valuable knowledge. Always remember that with hard work and determination, you can achieve anything you dream of.
My gratitude goes to the Team Focus organizers and mentors who make these terrific camps possible. By instilling the values of service, social responsibility and academic excellence, you give our youth the tools they need to build futures filled with opportunity and faith. With your lessons and support, they can become outstanding citizens of character and the next leaders of our Golden State. Thank you for investing yourselves in their success.
On behalf of all Californians, I send my very best wishes for a wonderful dinner and every continued happiness.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger
Dagley I am happy to be at Team Focus because I get to hang out with all males since I don’t have a father and I get to learn about men’s life situations and how to deal with them. All that I am asking of Team Focus is that they feed us and mentor us to be AMAZING gentlemen!
- Noah Dagley
I would like to thank Coach Mike Gottfried and his wonderful staff for the (T.L.C.) tender, loving, caring and sharing with my two young men James and Joshua.
Each time my young men are away from me and they are with you all I feel like “hey!” I’ve left them with their second moms and dads because I know you all will take care of them as I would.
We have been in the camp for three years. Each day I feel like we’re being blessed more and more.
They lost their dad when they were 1 and 3. but they were blessed to find a flock of dads at the age of 9 and 11. We have Team Focus to thank for that. GOD IS GOOD ALWAYS.
Although each day brings challenges and things that are unknown.
God said you needn’t face them by yourself or deal with them alone;
For others care (TEAM FOCUS STAFF) about you and will keep you close in prayer?
And, above all God will guide you for his love is always there.
Thank you for being a part of my young men and my life.
- Deloris Washington
Dear Team Focus Friends,
I am graduating from high school and from being a Team Focus member, and I thought this was an appropriate time to once again say “Thank You!” from the bottom of my heart to everyone associated with Team Focus. Although I have never really had a traditional dad, I have never really felt that missing piece from my life because instead of one dad, I was blessed to have 100. My Team Focus mentors have made such a positive difference in my future and to shape me into who I am now. And even though they may never realize the impact that they have had on me, I will always remember each and every one of them as my dad.
I am going to the University of South Alabama to be an electrical engineer, a decision I made last summer at Team Focus camp with the guidance of their counselors. I hope to become successful in my career, an active participant in my community through service, and a role model for those who come behind me at Team Focus. I will consider myself a success in life when I have made a difference in at least one man’s life the way Team Focus has made a difference in mine. I promise to always be available to serve Team Focus in whatever capacity they ask, and hope they never hesitate to call.
I can’t say this thank you without singling out our founder, Mike Gottfried, who has been a particularly influential person in my teens. He is the most awesome, giving (of himself), and sincere man I have ever and probably will ever know. Coach Mike, I will always carry a special place for you in my heart — a huge hug and thank you for everything. You have walked with me into maturity, and I will never forget what you have done for me and so many others like me.
Lastly, I want to address the many friends I have made around the country through Team Focus. We are brothers now, and I want each of you to know that I am here for you — whether you know me or not. If you ever see my name in a phone book in a few years or somewhere else fifty years from now, I hope you will reach out to me to say hello. We will always be a team.
- Dominic Zambrano
Mobile, AL Chapter
Thank you for your presentation during the Connecting with Boys session at the Tennessee Regional Conference on Helping America’s Youth. Your inspiring personal story and remarks about the significance of mentors for young men without fathers added an important and thought-provoking dimension to the proceedings.
I’m very glad we met. President Bush and I are grateful for your steadfast commitment to providing positive role models for young men and helping them to develop as leaders.
Best wishes for the continued success of Team Focus.
- Laura Bush
To Whom it May Concern:
My two sons, Marc and Garrett Wadsworth, have been involved with Team focus for 2 1/2 years. Their father, Dr. Marc H. Wadsworth died of liver cancer at the age of 41, in January of 2005. I can’t even begin to list all the wonderful support and opportunities that Team Focus has provided for Marc and Garrett. Both of my sons have been involved with Team Focus leadership camps and stay in contact with group leaders regularly. Furthermore, the leadership skills and confidence that Team Focus offers in their programs supports and encourages academic success for each of its members. I continue to admire the care, dedication, and motivation that Team Focus encourages each member to excel in their academic achievements. Just last week, Marc and Garrett were listed in the Findlay Courier newspaper as Distinguished Honor Roll students. I am thankful for Team Focus’ dedication and commitment for my sons’ academic success. Team Focus has been the “wind beneath their wings” for excellence in academic success, and I as their mother, will forever be grateful.
With Warm regards and a Team Focus Member’s Mother,
- Sally O. Wadsworth
It has been a week of relief. I have been surrounded by things that matter. God, friends, and the feeling that someone believes in me. I have learned to appreciate the finer things in life, the prizes are not a big issue to me anymore. I love everyone involved with Team Focus. I hope to someday give back, not directly though in the next couple years. I mean in the long run. Anyways if I have to sum up what this camp means to me in one word is the word “hope.” Before Coach Mike or anyone came into my life I can honestly say I was a nobody headed nowhere. The sad part was I didn’t care. Then I came to camp and now I have so much ambition. I know I am going somewhere now, I know I have a future. Thank you for this and thank you again for everything else.
- Zachary N. Widgren
Dear Coach Mike,
I’m so glad I got to see you again. When I was just a young boy I was shy, and very apprehensive at the time. Later in life I decided one day that I didn’t want to turn out that way, so I did something about it. I then worked on many things to become an outgoing, strong, respectful young man. This is partially because of my loving mom, the effort I put into myself, and you. Throughout this week you have told me I am a great young man and I appreciate that very much. You also taught me many lessons that have been sown into me for an eternity. Of course I hated to see you leave this evening. I’m also sure that I’ll miss you, but I know you’re off to change someone else’s life. This truly shows how much of a caring, remarkable man you are. I’ve finally found today that I love you Coach Mike.
- Logan Reed
This is Tavion Wells. I told you guys I’d keep in touch. I want to thank you for being there for guys like me. Team focus has changed my life. 3 years ago I was considered suicidal, but when I met the team and began to make friends I stepped out of my shell and I was changed. God had changed my heart. You guys helped me. For that I THANK YOU
Hey coach thanx for the support and I hope to see you guys next year, or possibly sooner. I do feel loved when I come to Team Focus. Emotion and love come natural when you’re around men who love GOD like the staff at Team Focus.
As for the winning I don’t care anymore…I’m just happy to have people care about me and I needed the study to get me ready for AP classes this year.
Talk to you later and send Mickey a hug for me.
- Tavion Wells