Turning the tables for Burger

  • Committed to the craft: Mark “Burger” Jennings with two young guests in the studio of his Sports Zone Talk Show on 102.7FM.  A golf tournament next weekend, organised by the Former Cup Match Players and Officials Foundation, will aid his medical expenses from eye surgery. In the rear is Murray Bartley (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

A man who gives so much of his own time to help others will be the recipient of the benefit golf tournament next weekend at Belmont Hills to aid his own medical expenses.

Mark “Burger” Jennings, who hosts Sports Zone Talk Show on Monday and Friday nights on radio station Magic 102.7FM, will benefit from part proceeds from the Former Cup Match Players and Officials’ Foundation second annual golf tournament going towards his medical expenses when he has eye surgery in December at Lahey Clinic in Massachusetts.

The Former Cup Match Players and Officials Foundation goals include assisting those past players and officials, or their families, in need of health assistance; helping to fund those youngsters aspiring in cricket; giving back to cricket through mentoring; and providing a solid historic and educational platform for cricket to continue.

This year the committee opted to assist Jennings, who is well known for his radio show. He played cricket and football and is also a former football coach, who annually raises funds to send youngsters to summer camps overseas.

“Despite what is going on in my life, with my sight being jagged and losing a leg below the knee, life still goes on,” Jennings said. “Because of sports I never had to turn to drugs. I know there are people worse off, so I’m thankful.

“Sports satisfied me, no matter who was playing. Of course, my team is the Devonshire Cougars so that sweeted me when we won the Triple Crown [in 2012-13]. In a small way I try to give back because so many people have helped me.”

Jennings’s good deeds have not gone unnoticed by the foundation.

“In prior years he has helped a number of young men in the community in their development and has also been heavily involved in the Devonshire Recreation Club and North Village sports teams,” the foundation said.

“On Mr Jennings’s radio show, he keeps the past memories alive by frequently discussing the sports memories from the past. He takes special pride in recognising great performances and people in all sports, most specifically cricket and football.

Jennings will host the Bermuda Sports Magazine awards on November 24 at Ruth Seaton James Auditorium, with part proceeds going to King Edward Memorial VII Hospital’s Extended Care Unit.

He published the magazine up to 2012 when boxer Teresa Perozzi appeared on the cover, and is planning a relaunch next year.

At the awards, legendary St George’s Cup Match captain Cal “Bummy” Symonds will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, former Bermuda Football Association president Donald Dane the Dudley Eve Sports Administration Award, former referee Charlie Marshall the W.F. “Chummy” Hayward Philanthropy Award and Jim Butterfield the Humanitarian Award.

Former athletes from 24 sports will be honoured at the event hosted by Joe L. Brown, a former sports reporter, and the comedian Bootsie.

The event begins at 6.30pm and tickets are on sale from October 15 at $50 each from 24-hour Esso Service Station in Hamilton, the Pro Shop, and from committee members Larry Smith and Dennis Wainwright. Island Construction is the main sponsor.

“After the intermission we are going to have a ‘Ringing of the Bell’ when we call the names of 25 [deceased] people from the last decade, like Sheridan Raynor, Willie Weldon, Conrad Symonds and Richard Thompson, to honour them,” Jennings said.

Deadline for registration for the October 13 golf tournament is Wednesday. It is a shotgun tournament starting at 8am. The fee of $130 per person includes green fees, golf cart and lunch.