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Maria Graf: The power of kindness, on display at the La Crosse Center

From the COLLECTION: 11 letters to the editor -- and columns -- from Sunday Opinion series
David

David at the La Crosse Center 

I’d like to share a story as a reminder of the power of kindness. My son, David (age 10) is a big fan of the La Crosse Center due to his attending a bull riding event the past few years. He is certain the bulls live year round in the Center.

Every single Saturday since moving here in March, we have walked past the La Crosse Center as my son picks this weekly as his special reward for doing well in school and life. Every Saturday he looks in the windows for the bulls.

A few weeks ago, David was looking through the front door window and a kind man stopped as he walking into the Center. I explained our Saturday morning routine. The man introduced himself as “Art,” invited us in, and gave David a tour of the newly remodeled Center.

David has Autism and despite being overjoyed about actually being inside the La Crosse Center (his version of Disney) he was also sad there were no bulls, no cowboys, no rodeo. Autism and change are a difficult combo and he started to cry. Art noticed this and reassured David that the bulls would be here in November and he explained the process of how they prepare the Center for the rodeo. It was incredible to see someone be so observant, thoughtful and sincere in helping David understand.

I later learned that Art was Art Fahey, director of the La Crosse Center. We need more leaders like this man.

Maria Graf

Onalaska

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