People who make a difference
Often time’s people that actually make a difference aren’t
the ones who talk about it. They just do it. Such is the case with
a man named Dave Elmore. Dave hails from Huntington, West Virginia
and came to Roatan via Guatemala a little over a year ago. He probably
wouldn’t have wound up here except for the fact that he was
working with an orphanage in Guatemala and became a robbery victim.
To make matters worse, when he reported it to the police, they beat
him and robbed him as well. His next stop was Roatan. Close to being
broke when he first got here, he went to Eldon’s with the little
money he had left and bought a bunch of bread and meats and spreads,
made sandwiches and went up and down to all of the dive shops in West
End selling his sandwiches in order to make some money to be able
to afford a place to live.
Dave is currently teaching grades 1 through 3 at Miriam Hansen’s
“Home away from Home” school in Sandy Bay .As part of
that job, he also directs and holds physical education classes at
the tennis courts at Anthony’s Key. If you talk to his students,
they sing his praises loud and clear. I was speaking to the mother
of one of his students last week and she commented to me that Dave
had made such a difference in her daughter’s approach to studying
and her attitude about school in general had vastly improved as a
direct result of his being her teacher.
After hiking the Appalachian Trail (over 2000 miles) starting in
1998, he returned to Asheville, North Carolina and dedicated his time
in helping “at risk” children, working with them in a
wilderness environment. Children have always had a special place in
Dave Elmore’s heart and as a result he has set out to help them
the best he can.
With the help of friend Brandon Raab, Dave has set up a non-profit
organization called the “Sol Foundation”. (Sol being an
abbreviation for School of Life.) The Sol Foundation consists of 3
Part 1. Education – To provide scholarships,
uniforms, transportation and even tuitions in some of the islands
private schools for island children who don’t have the economic
means to ever have these things. He is even considering starting a
shuttle service to get kids to and from school each day.
Part 2. Sports Activities – In as many local
communities as possible Dave is looking to lease, buy or have someone
donate land for playgrounds and baseball and soccer fields. His goal
being to start Youth Sports Programs throughout the island. He feels
that if more island children were involved in these activities, it
would keep them off of the streets and away from trouble and add to
their sense of self worth. His plan is to get this program underway
and eventually turn over the operations part of it to locals who show
a desire to follow through with this sort of project. Being a scout
for the Texas Rangers major league baseball team gives him an advantage
in understanding how to put together and manage this part of his Foundation.
The 3rd and last part of the Sol Foundation is an internship
program. This is focused on the late teens and early adults
age group and will consist of local businesses such as hotels, computer
stores, real estate offices, marine science or marine biology companies
being asked to provide this select group of people with internships,
exposing them to new skill sets and letting them absorb and learn
how businesses are run. Dave feels that in many ways the future of
the children and young adults here on the island should include these
sorts of positions enabling them to become the decision makers of
tomorrow for Roatan.
“I didn’t have this plan in mind at all when I first
came here” said Dave. “It just kind of all fell into place
on its own”. He has also been pleasantly surprised by the generosity
of certain islanders who have contributed financially to his sports
activities programs. He’s hoping more people will take the initiative
to get involved on some level.
Actions speak louder than words and this is certainly the case with
Dave Elmore. I found out about the work he is doing quite by accident
and this was after seeing Dave around for quite awhile. He’s
not one to blow his own horn. I approached him with the idea of this
article because I feel he is one of the people here who really are
making a difference and other people should be aware of it.
If you’d like to know more about the Sol Foundation or more
importantly what you might be able to do to contribute or help Dave
with his projects he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.