VANDALIA — In 2009, one of Vandalia-Butler’s finest student athletes, Blake LaForce, lost his battle due to complications ofLeukemia. Blake’s legacy of optimism and perseverance is honored through the Blake LaForce #41 Memorial Fund, which provides money for two annual scholarships for one male and female student athletes at Butler High School.
Blake loved football and was a “student of the game,” as the game came natural to him. He was a fierce competitor, exceptional athlete and team player and was tenacious about success and winning. His “athletic career” began in elementary school when he played pee wee football. Although he participated in other sports by the time he reached high school, Blake concentrated on football, wrestling and track and field; receiving varsity letters in all of these sports early on. He was a power weight lifting champion. Receiving the “Archie Griffin Sportsmanship Award” was and exciting moment for the young Blake LaForce.
The fund is dedicated to enhancing the experiences of Aviator student athletes, and a portion of it’s earning benefits The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Tri-State Chapter.
Aditionally, the Blake LaForce Memorial ‘TUFF’ Award is presented annually to a football player who demonstrates those “winning qualities”: character, leadership, toughness, hard work, determination, tenacity, and courage.
To support this fund and continue Blake’s outstanding legacy, the 41 Hope 5k run/walk is held at Butler’s Memorial stadium. This year, the 5k will be held on September 1, 2018 at 9 a.m. at Butler Memorial Stadium.
You can learn more about the Blake Force Memorial fund, and register to run/walk at 41hope5k.com
Reach Alyssa Burley at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.