Paul Edmonds is the radio voice for the AA Winnipeg Goldeyes baseball team. He also hosts their annual charity fundraising trip to Aikens Lake. The Goldeyes claimed their first championship this year in the American Association. While at Aikens after the championship season, Paul sat down with Gerry to go over his busy year!
Gerry Paul, you’re up here at Aikens Lake to host the annual fundraiser trip for the Winnipeg Goldeyes. Thanks for sharing some thoughts and feelings with our readers. Can you elaborate on your relationship with the Goldeyes, their foundation and how it all leads to Aikens Lake Wilderness Lodge.
Paul The relationship dates back to the off season leading up to 2004, when Aikens Lake Wilderness Lodge offered a fundraising package consisting of trips donated completely free of charge to the hosting celebrities and the eventual winners of the trip to the Goldeyes charity, The Field of Dreams Foundation. What I liked at first, and still do today, is the fact that every penny we raise for this trip stays with the charity.
The Field of Dreams Foundation started in 1995 which is dear to my heart because while the team began in 1994, I started with the Goldeyes in 1995 as well, so my association with Field of Dreams goes back to the beginning…..18 years now! We’re well over one million dollars of monies raised for the benefit of children’s charities in the province. Having all the money stay in Manitoba is a key factor. We’ve been able to help a lot of groups, too numerous to list here, but it is also a great opportunity for us to seal local corporate partnerships from companies like Aikens. It’s a little special for me also because our logo is a fish……and I’ve always loved to fish…..and people know that. So now I have become the liaison for all that is fishing.
The favourite story I like to tell is that back in those days we broadcast the game on another station whose signal could be tuned into radios up in the Bait and Tackle Shop at Aikens Lake. The Aikens staffers heard on the broadcast that Paul Edmonds, whom they didn’t know, actually enjoyed fishing! The idea was spawned that maybe they should offer the Goldeyes a charity trip similar to the Jets Goals for Kids that morphed into the Moose Yearling Foundation. The rest is history and I think the partnership with Aikens Lake has worked well for the Foundation, has worked well for the Goldeyes and for myself and of course hopefully for the lodge.
Gerry On your son Nolan’s fourth birthday this year, you broadcast your first ever championship winning game when the Goldeyes defeated the Witchita Wingnuts to win the American Association Crown. Would you share some of your emotions at that moment and how the ride has been since then.
Paul Well having never won a championship, it’s all brand new to me, but I’m enjoying every moment of it and enjoying the moment of the unknown. There are a couple of things that developped over the last few days that I now can relate. One was the euphoric moment after that last pitch when you are the best there is! That is probably the biggest emotional boost you can get because that is what you strive for and you’ve reached the pinnacle. You’ve climbed that mountain and planted the flag. There is no further that you can go.
The other, of course, is the celebration with the team and entourage and a few fans. That was great! Unfortunately, we won in another ballpark. But celebrating back in Winnipeg and with our fans 30 hours later at Shaw Park was incredible because you got to see the hometown fans enjoying it and being the big part of it they always are. So that’s great! because they, the fans, deserve it for standing behind us day after day, year after year, win or lose, for paying the freight, sitting through long rain delays and sitting through some of the cold, humid evenings that we can experience in May.
I’ll never forget how proud I felt being there that night. And then there’s the auxillaries from that. People you don’t know, stop you on the street to offer their congratulations. And of course there is the family aspect and I speak only for myself. But there are a lot of people in my family who sacrificed a lot for me to be able to broadcast 112 games in 130 days driving all over the midwest, whether that was my Mom, my Dad, my in-laws and especially my wife and kids. They are the people I enjoyed celebrating this with and they are taking it all in too. They think it’s great for the city and the province but in the end, they are glad for me and very proud to celebrate it.
I’m sure that we will notice a different attitude for months to come. Wherever we go, people know about the championship, even up here. Guests and staff alike are fully cognisant of what was just accomplished by the Winnipeg Goldeyes. I’m very happy that people are proud of the Goldeyes and the timing of this championship win is great in view of what’s going on with the other professional teams right now.
Gerry So we are certain that the memories and effects of the championship will linger on but you (@fishvoice1995) have to shift gears as the fall and winter seasons fast approach. What are your plans for this year?
Paul I’m one of the few Winnipeggers probably who really looks forward to winter because it allows me time to be more of a regular dad and husband. My schedule is still busy but it becomes much more flexible. I will soon return to my role as corporate account executive with the Goldeyes. That takes me back to a Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 regular job so I’m normal that way which is totally different from the summer.
My time with my wife and kids in the summer is in the mornings when everyone else spends family time in the evenings and on the weekends. It’s my time to give back now, helping out my wife with parenting duties. Our kids are getting older so there is a lot more to be done, but it’s also a lot more fun being with them. Tanis is starting a home business this fall. She is trained and certified in the dog grooming business so the plan is to help her get her own operation going. We have to finalize the business plan and erect a building on our property. I will also take over a lot of driving the kids here and there and attending their events. I will continue to support my oldest son in his hockey and probably be assistant coach again this year if he stays with the same team. But we won’t know that until all the try outs are over. I will attend as many dance lessons and recitals as possible for my daughter. Our youngest son is also starting up hockey this year so that will keep us on the go! We also have piano lessons for two of them and swimming for all of them. So there is a lot of opportunities for me to get totally involved in family life. I get a lot of satisfaction watching my kids being involved with other kids and doing other things. I think it has made me a better person also because, you know Gerry, as a parent you always try and show them the best road to take, the best way to make decisions, don’t do this but do that, but in the end, you have to be that person who is the guiding light or the good example for them.
That being said, I will be taking some vacation time to fish with my family and go on my annual whitetail hunting trip. I will try and get out to do some bird hunting as well. My dad and I have always loved to spend time together in the great outdoors and that’s what I want for my kids. Also, our little family is getting older now, so If all goes well, Tanis and I will be taking the kids to Disneyworld in February as they are all old enough now.
Gerry I’m out of breath just listening to you describe your planned activities. Now we’ll slow things down and play the one word game. In one word Paul, describe your emotions and feelings at the moment the Goldeyes won their first championship of your era.
Paul Euphoric! That’s the complete feeling….the feeling that you are the best….the feeling that you worked as hard or harder than anyone else and the fact that you got the ultimate reward for it all. That’s why it is euphoric…knowing that you deserved it and that you accomplished it!
Gerry Thanks for this interview Paul.