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Community Rallies for Super Dale

The heart of Wasatch County was beating strong and vibrantly on Monday evening as well over 1200 people gathered at Wasatch High School in support of Dale Lawrence, who is better known around the state as Super Dale. Lawrence, who was injured while at wrestling practice on January 4th, is still paralyzed from the chest down, but that hasn’t stopped his indomitable spirit.

“Dale is doing well,” his mother, Kellie Giles said. “He should be released from the hospital in March and then will, hopefully, be back in school.”

A number of efforts have been put forth to help Dale and his family financially. “Super Dale” donation opportunities can be seen in most stores in the valley.

But Monday evening may have topped them off. A banquet, donated and served by Zermatt, started the evening with 100% of the proceeds going to Dale’s family. Every available inch in the Wasatch High School commons was filled with tables as hundreds of people gathered to enjoy the meal and show their support.

Following the dinner, the guests remained to take part in both a silent auction as well as a traditional auction held in the WHS auditorium.

“I’ve always said that we live in a special place,” said WHS Principal Paul Sweat. “Your response tonight has reaffirmed that once again.”

Mr. Sweat went on to talk about the preparations for the evening. “Our only concern all along was ‘Would we be able to handle the crowd?’ We knew that our wonderful friends would rally together to support Dale and his family.”

The auction, which was led by Shawn and Justin Kelly in their inimitable manner, reflected the closeness citizens in this valley feel. “Remember what we are here for,” Shawn Kelly said at the beginning of the auction. “I am going to push the prices up as we go, but that is why you all came in the first place, isn’t it? We are going to do what we can to help this family.”

And help they did, with bid prices often more than doubling the value of items that individuals could have purchased much cheaper in stores. And generosity was rampant. For example, Century 21 purchased an entertainment gift basket for well over $300 and then turned around and donated it back and asked them to sell it again to someone else to double the money it would raise.

A quick survey of individuals at the event indicated that the majority of those present had never met Dale and didn’t personally know the family. That didn’t matter as the community stepped up to help one of their own.

Final figures are not in yet, but the auction, which went well past 10:00 p.m., combined with the silent auction and the dinner, brought in well over $60,000. All of that money will go to Super Dale’s family to help them weather this storm.

The future may not be clear to Dale’s family, but they cannot be more certain than they are of one thing. This is a community that cares, that will rally around and help where they can. Dale is not the only thing that is “Super” in Wasatch County this week. The hundreds and hundreds of generous, caring community members might be surprised to look down and recognize a big “S” on their own chests as they joined together in a super effort to give Dale a fighting chance.

BY JOHN MOSS   02/11/2011

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