Sports star final Pillar speaker

One-armed basketball player wraps up 2006 series of Rotary talks

Posted: Tuesday, May 02, 2006

This spring's Pillars of America Freedom Series will conclude Wednesday with a man who didn't let losing an arm keep him off his high school basketball team.

Ron "Gus" Gustafson was an honorable-mention all-state basketball star in Nebraska, despite a farm accident that took his right arm and shoulder at the age of 9. He will speak at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at Centennial Hall.

"Anytime you as a child have to overcome that kind of adversity it's inspirational," said Tish Griffin Satre, who chairs the Glacier Valley Rotary speaker series, now in its 14th year. "He is an amazing man."

Pillars of America Freedom

• Speaker: Ron "Gus" Gustafson

• When: 11:30 a.m. Wednesday

• Where: Centennial Hall

• Tickets: $25; includes lunch. Tickets are available today from Hearthside Books, or at Centennial Hall at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Tickets, at $25 each, are available today at Hearthside Books. Griffin Satre said at least 25 will be available at the Centennial Hall, beginning at 11 a.m. Lunch is included with admission.

According to Gustafson's biography from the International Speaker's Bureau, each setback presented him with a new opportunity. After a knee injury ended his college basketball career, he built a family and a business.

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He has three simple keys to life, according to his biography: Process the garbage in your life; never give up; and have the courage to face the next challenge.

"He has a really good message for youth," Griffin Satre said.

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