If you don’t know Dave La Rue, who lives in the Rockrimmon neighborhood of Colorado Springs, you have been missing out. Here is a link to my column about Dave.
Below is a photo of Dave taken a couple months ago.
He’s one of those guys who seems to have extra hours in his days. He gets so much done. And often it is for the benefit of other people.
When the coach of his son’s soccer team quit, Dave was the guy who stepped up to coach. Not just because his son, Aleksei, was on the team. But because a void needed to be filled.
Same for the little league baseball team. And basketball.
When his daughter, Mariah, was on a swim team that needed to raise money, guess who staffed the bingo games . . . Dave and his wife, Lisa.
Here are Lisa and Dave in a family photo:
I was fortunate to meet Dave about 10 years ago.
My son, Peter, was on the same soccer team as Aleksei. The team needed a coach.
Dave agreed to take over and I helped him.
Dave wasn’t a soccer expert. In fact, he didn’t know much about the game. But he agreed to coach and then taught himself the game from books and by taking coaching clinics. And he did more than set up cones and run drills.
Below is a photo of Dave and the team, taken around 2001, unveiling a jersey he designed for the team.
Dave doesn’t coach youth sports teams anymore. But he’s still out there helping people.
These days, he has turned his attention to a new team: the Spirit of the Springs, a group of people from Colorado Springs who, like Dave, have ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive degenerative disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. There is no cure for ALS.
As part of the Spirit of the Springs, Dave and the rest of the group are raising money to fund research for a cure for ALS. Last year, Dave raised $3,000 and the team raised $17,000 — the most of any team in the Denver walk.
He has set his goal higher this year and anyone interested can donate on-line.
In addition, Dave has created a Web site where you can read more about him and his work on behalf of ALS.
ALS is known as Lou Gehrig‘s Disease for the legendary New York Yankees first baseman who contracted it.
Here is a historic photo of Gehrig retiring on July 4, 1939. In his speech, he famously called himself “the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”
Dave first noticed symptoms in 2005. The disease has gradually robbed him of his speech, the use of his arms and ability to eat. He no longer drives. But he remains active and recently has begun painting.
Among his amazing works of art is a piece inspired by last year’s Walk to Defeat ALS. Here is is:
Here are a couple other La Rue originals: