Updated: Jan 17, 2019
(an interview with Burk's father)
This is the first in a series of interviews we will post to give you insight into the reasons behind the foundation and what we plan to achieve. This first interview contains a series of questions posed to Clinton Hansen, Burk’s father and the founder of the foundation.
“It is critical for youth to learn to serve others early on with no thought of reward. This will help them better raise their families and serve in their communities as they become adults. ”
Q: We are coming up on the one-year anniversary of Burk’s passing. For those who didn’t know him, tell us a little about Burk.
Burk cared about others first and himself second. It was most important to him that others were happy and felt part of the group. He loved spending quality time with his family, It did not matter what we were doing, playing board games, shooting baskets, or watching Sports Center top 10 plays each morning; he was happiest being around his family and friends.
He spent a lot of time with his younger siblings and was often a buffer between them and us as parents when we needed a break from the “younger twins” as they are sometimes referred to in our house. He would take them outside and jump on the trampoline with them or play football on his knees in the front room. They looked up to him as a true protector and friend.
He would rather lose to you in a game if it meant you would keep playing with him. A few weeks before he passed away, he had invented a game involving a ball and invited his older sister to play with him. He was beating her and she was about to go inside, when he started to make it so she got some points. He didn’t care that he was losing…he just wanted her to keep playing.
He looked up to me as one of his heros. I don’t say this to boast, just to let you know we had a special relationship. His first year at scout camp I was not there and he had a hard time. The next year when I agreed to go, he was so excited to have that time together and he absolutely loved it! From time to time he left notes on my pillow letting me know how much I meant to him and the qualities he admired in me. Those notes are priceless treasures.
Burk loved God and tried his best to obey the commandments as he understood them. He gladly attended church and was happy to fulfill his responsibilities as the president of his Deacon’s quorum. He was a spiritual leader to them and also taught the adults working with him valuable spiritual lessons by the way he carried himself and led the group with quiet dignity.
Q: What was it that convinced you to start a nonprofit foundation in his honor?
As with any great endeavor, it started small. The idea came from a conversation I had with Jeremy Pryor; a friend who became one of the members of the original board of directors. He was one of Burk’s church leaders and knew how much Burk loved basketball, so the original idea was that we would start a foundation and have a basketball camp where would also discuss the importance of loving and serving others.
From there, we involved other family and close friends to develop what it has become today.
Q: The Foundation seeks to empower youth to better themselves and the community. Why is it so important for youth to look beyond themselves and help their community?
We are all greatly benefited by being part of something bigger than ourselves. As human beings, we have a natural tendency to think more about self preservation than the needs of others. Maybe it stems back to the cave man days when the wild animals were out to get you!
It is critical for youth to learn to serve others early on with no thought of reward. This will help them better raise their families and serve in their communities as they become adults. Service also helps with your overall happiness. You help lift another and by so doing make the world a better place where people are knit together with a sense of sincere goodness toward others.
Q: Do you or any of the other founders get paid for your work in the Foundation?
No, and we never will. Of course, the payment we receive is the satisfaction of helping others which has a much greater lasting effect than any amount of money we could ever receive!
Q: The Play for Burk Foundation has accomplished a lot in the last year, including a benefit concert, a 5K inflatable race, a bowling event, and many acts of service in Bartlesville. How have you accomplished so much in just the first year?
We have accomplished more than I ever imagined possible in this first year. We did this through hard work and dedication of our board of directors and so many other volunteers that helped to make the events happen. Randy John and I worked tirelessly together to plan the events at a high level and then involved others to lead the events and plan and execute the details together. We spent many late nights and early morning jogs together planning as we ran!
Terri Bryan and Rosly Cooper were also instrumental in planning the bowling event and inflatable run respectively. We could not have done what we did without the help of the many other volunteers that volunteered their time to help with the events. The students at Madison Middle School for the PlayForBurk club that has done many acts of service in the name of the foundation. Christie Orphin and Rachel Hough have been instrumental in making that happen.
Q: What have been some of the most meaningful Play for Burk moments for you in the last year?
The Alex Boye concert was the most meaningful for me. Maybe it is because that is the one that I had to put the most effort into! I enjoyed getting to know him as a person and a performer. He is amazingly talented. Those that attended the concert will remember two significant events.
The first was when everyone turned the flashlights on their phones and swayed back and forth with the music. It was an impressive site that linked the band and audience together.
The second was when Alex went backstage for a few minutes and came out wearing a BYU Jimmer Fredette jersey! Burk loved Jimmer and when Jimmer found out about Burk he sent an autographed jersey. It was special for him to wear that as part of his tribute to Burk.
Q: Which Foundation event do you think Burk would have enjoyed the most?
That is a hard choice. He loved the annual Mustang run each year and had many enjoyable bowling experiences with his friends over the years. He also went to an Imagine Dragons concert with us not too long before he passed and he absolutely loved it. If I have to pick one I would say the concert. He would have loved to see so many people coming together to support an organization like we have created. He loved to be around other people and especially when they were having fun and doing good!
Q: If someone wants to be involved in the Play for Burk Foundation, how would you suggest they get involved?
The best way to get involved is to stay tuned to our facebook page and support the activities we have planned. We have a great team assembled to help us plan the events for this year and we will surely need your help to make them successful! If you have children, tell them about our foundation and talk to them about being involved. You can also seek ways to serve others and make your community better outside of what we are doing. There are so many organizations that are doing awesome things for our youth and community. Get involved with them as well and together we will make great things happen!
Q: You have a full-time job, a large busy family, and you serve as bishop (pastor) in your church. How do you find time to run a foundation too?
We are all busy. It is true, I wear many hats and have many commitments outside of the foundation. I try to live life according to a quote I once heard, “I don’t find time or make it, I schedule time and take it.” We have 24 hours to use each day. I work hard to focus on those things that are most critical to me and my family and will bring me the most joy and satisfaction. The foundation fills a hole for me left by Burk’s absence. I make the foundation a priority because it helps me heal.