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Michigan State University charities supported by the proceeds of Qualman book sales . . .


Michigan State Charity

Clara Bell Smith Academic Center: A great Spartan, Steve Smith, showed us the way by donating $2.5M toward this great academic facility on Michigan State's campus. It is still the largest gift ever by a professional athlete to any college or university.

“I have had great coaches, but none greater than my mother,
I have had great role models, but none greater than my mom,
I have had great teammates and fans, but none greater than Clara Bell Smith.”

- Steve Smith

Steve Smith was a teammate of Erik Qualman's when they were at Michigan State University together. Smith was a senior All-American when Qualman was a freshman manager/water boy. Smith was one of the persons that influenced Qualman to later walk-on the team and earn a scholarship.

Brian Norkus Memorial Scholarship Fund: Brian Norkus was a promising young man (MSU '93) who selflessly gave his life by steering his runaway car out of harms way rather than into a congested city intersection (see story below). His family setup a scholarship fund for two Northview High School Seniors. His close friends called him by the nickname of "Clown" as a result of his light hearted humor and charismatic personality. The world was a better place with him in it.

Brian Norkus was a great friend of Erik Qualman's at Michigan State. As you can see by the write-up below he died heroically. It’s heroes like Brian that inspire our fundraising efforts.

The following excerpt is from a letter written by Paula Jones, a witness to the auto accident that killed Brian Norkus’ 93 in April 2003.

It was the end of another workday and I was on my way home at approximately 6:50 in the evening on Monday, April 28, 2003.Being a creature of habit, I chose my daily route home via Yesler Way near downtown Seattle, Washington. I was stopped at the four-way stoplight on 6th and Yesler Way, preparing to begin the very steep downhill near Yesler Way. I looked into my rearview mirror and noticed a vehicle swerve to miss my car. The vehicle swerved to my right, onto the sidewalk, the grass and then back onto Yesler Way. It dawned on me as I witnessed the vehicle’s maneuvering that the vehicle had lost the use of its brakes, and the driver was struggling to control it as it sped downhill.

I drove helplessly behind the vehicle, not knowing what to do. The vehicle was picking up speed every second. As the vehicle continued down Yesler Way, the driver did his best to avoid parked cars and places where people had gathered — ONCE AGAIN preventing injury to others and potentially saving someone’s life. As the vehicle approached 3rd Street and Yesler Way, there were approximately three cars stopped at the red light. ONCE AGAIN, the driver made the decision to ensure their safety and went around these cars. In doing so, he went through the light and ONCE AGAIN tried to go around a vehicle coming through the intersection, but instead hit the front of the vehicle, causing his vehicle to crash into a pole and flip over.

What I witnessed was a SELFLESS ACT. A stranger, whom I did not know, put other people, including me, before himself. At many times in those short moments, he could have made the choice to hit others in an attempt to slow down and/or stop his vehicle. My vehicle was the first he could have hit, but instead he chose to sacrifice his own safety. Watching him struggle with the steering heel in an effort to bring the vehicle under control, while simultaneously thinking of others, is something that will always stay with me.

The large crowd gathered at 3rd Street and Yesler Way had no idea that because of the grace of God and this stranger’s selfless act, we were safe. They say in times of pressure, a person’s true character comes out. The spirit of selflessness came forth that day from Brian.

“Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” In this case, he laid down his life for strangers. Brian is at rest now, and he has left something for all of us to strive for — living a SELFLESS life.


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The cost of printing & handling the book is roughly $4.50. Once this cost is covered then the remainder is donated to various charities. Oh, and please pass this book and good intentions on!