Below is an email I received from my friend David Uri:
I hope this note finds you and your family well. As some of you may be aware, Steve Larsen, one of the most accomplished cyclists and triathletes, tragically died May 19, 2009, at the young age of 39. While the exact cause of death is not yet known, he was in the midst of doing what he loved most, running with a group of athletes. Steve leaves behind his wife Carrie of 16 years and five children – Amalia (13), Massimo (11), Gunnar (4) and twins Marco and Mateo (2). Steve was extremely well respected in the business and athletic communities, and was seemingly able to balance his family, professional and athletic commitments with amazing skill and dedication. Most of all he was a devoted father of five young children. If you are unfamiliar with Steve’s biography take a moment to check out www.rememberstevelarsen.com. I am sure you would agree that someone with his talent, on many levels, is a rare find today.
I have followed Steve’s athletic career for many years and only recently came to know him on a personal level when I moved to Bend, Oregon a few years ago. Steve and I worked on a few business opportunities together and shortly after I arrived in Bend, Steve and his family moved across the street from us.
With the tragic death of Steve, our entire community is mourning his loss. As a father of three young children, I cannot even imagine how difficult it must be for the Larsen Family at this moment. Just imagine you or your spouse vanishing and the enormous void that would be left behind. What do you tell your young children and just imagine how devastating it would be to them. Their tragedy is so “close to home” that I felt compelled to reach out to my network of friends, as well as the broader athletic community, to ask you to join me in supporting Steve’s family.
A few days before Steve’s passing, I was discussing with him an upcoming race that I was contemplating – a 100k ultramarathon. Steve gave me encouragement to participate in the race and with that I entered the event literally the day before he passed away. In recognition of Steve and to support his family, I have set out to raise $100,000 for the Larsens. While this is no way will ease their suffering, it will give the family some financial breathing room for the long road ahead of them.
It is in this spirit of helping those in need, that I personally ask each of you join me in this helping this wonderful cause. Specifically,
Please give generously and help support the Larsen family during their time of need. Checks can made out to the Steve Larsen Memorial Fund and be sent to Umpqua Bank, 390 SW Century Drive, Suite 100, Bend, OR, 97702 or you can donate directly at www.rememberstevelarsen.com. All funds received will be directed to the Larsen Family. If you are so inclined, take a moment to write a short note to the Larsen Family with support and encouragement.
Without any delay, forward this email to 10 friends or colleagues. This is an opportunity to get many people in your community involved. In fact, I am hopeful that some of you will take it upon yourself to lead such a fundraising effort yourself and further expand the reach.
Like you, I typically don’t look forward to receiving monetary requests or chain letters, but this is simply one cause that cannot go overlooked. It is times like this that we need to do the right thing and support someone who offered a tremendous amount to others. Steve was the type of person who always had encouraging words for people and his life should be an example followed by others. Please “pay it forward” and assist this most deserving family during this time of need.
Thank you for your time and I am hopeful you will be supportive.