The power of community, Part Two

October 10, 2013 | Tim Hauserman

In a recent blog, I wrote about the efforts of a Tahoe family to help their five year old Julian with his cerebral palsy and frequent seizures. I am happy to say that our community came through in a big way and the fundraising effort was a tremendous success with throngs of people showing up and chipping in to help the child and his family in a variety of different ways. Julian’s Mom Kara Fox says, “I am just so proud and totally humbled by how this community came out and supported us.” You can still help by going to

Now, I would like to pass on another inspiring story of local community, the inaugural edition of Ironman Lake Tahoe, held on September 22nd. Whether it was the thousands of volunteers who spent their day joyfully helping the athletes, the towns along the route who wholeheartedly embraced this event, or the athletes themselves, who gave it there all in their effort to conquer the challenging and magnificent course, it was a beautiful thing to behold.

As I spent the day as one of the lucky ones volunteering, I was touched by the athletes incredible spirit. Even while freezing their little tootsies off after that bitter cold early morning swim, they still managed to gave us a smile as they attempted to pluck a bottle of water from our hands while riding past at 30 miles an hour.

Of course for many of us locals, what Ironman was really all about was cheering on a small group of crazy friends who had dedicated themselves for a year to this seemingly impossible goal, and now were struggling to obtain it. For me those friends were Valli Murnane, Rachel Crus, Madona Casini, Annika Bryan, Dawn Gaffney, Dani Griffo, Joe Pace, Brad Altman and the fastest local of all, Kara LaPoint. We spent the day searching for their faces as they roared by on their bikes, or waited into the evening hours at the 64 acres bridge in Tahoe City trying to pick out our friends amongst the crowd of folks struggling by. Just so we could look into their tired eyes and pass on every ounce of courage and pride that we could. We felt like these were the children of our town. And we were the proud parents, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters that were so excited