Plans are under way to hold fundraisers for Bruce Anderson, a Durango School District 9-R board member and longtime community volunteer who is recovering from a stroke at a Denver hospital.
Anderson had a massive stroke on Sept. 21, said Ward Holmes, his friend and boss at Four Corners Broadcasting. Anderson spent two weeks in intensive care at St. Anthonys hospital in Denver before being moved to a private room.
Doctors say his left side is affected, which means hes essentially paralyzed on that side, and his ability to swallow is impaired, Holmes said. St. Anthonys is a phenomenal facility, but they said what he needs now is the support of his friends.
Fundraising is already under way to Bring Bruce Back to Durango for rehabilitation, which will cost about $5,000, but more extensive efforts will be needed to help cover significant medical bills, Holmes said.
Andersons voice is familiar to area residents from his Notebook, Wonderful Weekend and public service announcements on Four Corners Broadcasting stations KIUP-AM (930), KIQX-FM (101.3) and KRSJ-FM (100.5). He is also an active volunteer in the community.
Hes the most public private person I know, Holmes said. He went out of his way to help people. Theres not a nonprofit, not a needy person in this community he hasnt helped.
Anderson was completing his second stint as a fill-in school board member at the time of his stroke. He had chosen not to run for re-election and the seat will be filled at the election Tuesday.
Anderson has been a longtime board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Colorado, an early supporter of the Boys and Girls Club of La Plata County, helped found Crime Stoppers and was active in D.A.R.E. and helped transition it to its current configuration, Teaching Responsibility and Choices to Kids program.
He has played a key role in the United Way Radiothon every year, said Tim Walsworth, the president and CEO of United Way of Southwest Colorado. For 15 years, he has made sure the radio works. Weve raised $500,000 over those years, and none of it happens without Bruce.
Walsworth said Anderson has also volunteered countless hours of his own time with a drivers safety program, giving safe driving tips in conjunction with the Colorado State Patrol and a local insurance agent.
Hes literally saving lives by doing that, Walsworth said. Hes done a lot of stuff he didnt have to do, on his personal time, with a smile and smartly.