02/11/2017 6:01PM

Giwner: An overwhelming display of affection for a deserving man

Over $140,000 worth of donations have been made to the Sam McKee Go Fund Me page.

You often hear people say, “to know him is to love him.” That is certainly true about Hall of Famer Sam McKee, track announcer and Director of Television at The Meadowlands.

When I learned that he had suffered a major stroke, I was shocked. Sam always seemed to be in such good shape. It was more proof how fragile life can be.

I was far from surprised that his Go Fund Me page was able to amass over $140,000 in just four days. Sam is a special man. He never has a bad word to say about anyone and is truly a great role model for how to treat others. Many of us could learn something from him.

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Along with the funds, the Go Fund Me page is filled with well wishes from the over 500 people who donated to support Sam’s recovery. What is most amazing and truly speaks to the man is the number of people who donated despite admitting to never even meeting him. The cross-section of people on the list ranges from teenagers to seniors and from horsemen to casual fans. It is truly remarkable.

I’ve taken a few minutes to compile some of the comments from those who contributed to Sam’s recovery. I hope you’ll enjoy them. More than anything, I look forward to seeing Sam at the track again, unassumingly brightening up the room and enjoying the great sport of Harness Racing.

Get well soon, Sam.

Jennifer Dalton

I hope you get better my friend! It was a pleasure getting interviewed by you. You say I'm a breath of fresh air for this business, I think you are! Your personality and love for this game is everything.

Don Stich

Never met Sam, but I know we'd be great friends . . . he's the only person more passionate about racing than I am, and his positive energy, enthusiasm, and attention to accurate detail are on display with every race call . . . a genuinely likable guy . . . Get better soon, we all need you . . .

Zoe Wilson

Many, many thoughts and prayers from the serene and snowy landscapes of Norway. You are class act everywhere even when it was the coldest day ever in PARIS! Here's to a speedy recovery.

Joseph Carey

I’ve known Sam McKee for 19 yrs he is the nicest guy you ever want to meet and he brings so much class and energy to the Meadowlands every day. All my thoughts and prayers from your friend super Joe

Brian, Kathy, Matt, Amanda Clark

It's a privilege to have Sam in our lives-such a positive influence and mentor. Talking to him always makes our day better. Sam, Chris, & girls, our prayers are with you for strength and a swift recovery!

Jenn Bongiorno

You are truly one of the most special people that I have ever known. I cannot express enough how much I miss hearing you singing in the office and talking through the races with you. Praying for you & your wonderful family <3

Robert Pucila

Sam's race calls of Stormin Rustler over many years have been special to me. I don't know Sam personally but hear nothing but wonderful things about him. God Bless for a speedy recovery Sam!

Robert & Jeanne Black

Get well soon. We have never met you, but we watch Meadowlands races every night that they race on the RTN channel.

Mike Shannon

Dear Sam.....One of the best human beings l've ever met. He always takes time to talk to the fans and even bought me lunch once when we were talking horses. Sam, get well soon....We need you!!!!!

Cliff Pattick

I will always treasure the race calls you made regarding my horse Jenna's Choice. You are on the Mt. Rushmore of harness race callers. Wishing you a speedy & complete recovery!

Joseph Gentle

I don't know Sam but I know he is loved by the showing of support. Sam is one of the best announcers and will be missed. Get well Sam and we're looking forward to you coming back soon.

Phil Langley

Sam please get well. You have always given your all and never asked anything in return

Ed Burgart

I have never met you Sam but I have much respect. I know you are a great announcer but I hear you are even better as a human being. Get well.

Gabe Prewitt

Sam McKee means more to me than I could ever put in to words. We are here with you all the way my friend.

Carol Hodes

Blessed to know Sam since he first arrived at the Meadowlands for what was supposed to be a temporary gig and turned into more than two decades [I think!]. As others have noted, his talents are superior but his goodness is what makes so many of us send healing thoughts his way and hope that Chris and his daughters will have the strength to get him through this.

Brett and Dan Bittle

Very seldom is someone both the best at his profession and an even better person- Sam you are both. We're rooting for you. Brett and Dan Bittle

Joel Shivak

Sam let my Cheryl and I come up in the booth and watch him call a race the night before our 1st Hambo last year. He only knew my father and didn't know us from Adam, made us feel like he knew us for 10 years.............Wonderful man, best wishes and your recovery ................Joel and Cheryl Shivak

Darin Zoccali

God Bless Sam and His Family. A wonderful person and a mentor. I owe so much to this wonderful man. Praying for a full and speedy recovery.

Cris Caldwell

This amount is a collection from the Tattersalls Auction crew who is lucky enough to know and work with Sam McKee. We just worked with him in January and he was his usual kind and brilliant self. We only wish the best for his recovery and I, for one, will highlight the man at the beginning of every Standardbred sale that I do this year. We, as a group, will miss his wry humor and quick wit that is always delivered with grace and a kindness rarely witnessed. We can't wait to see you again - all of Our Best to you Sam McKee!

Joe Barre

Sam, I did an interview with you during a handicap contest last year. I was very nervous before the interview but you were so kind and helpful and you calmed me down when you said "it’s just going to be you and me having a chat about what we both love…harness racing". You’re a true professional and a genuinely great guy. My prayers are with you for a speedy recovery and I hope to see you in the broadcast booth making your great calls. Get well soon!