After being struck by an uninsured drunk driver, Austin Haws was left with a bill that his family couldn’t quite handle since his father lost his job. Hannah Laursen was diagnosed with brain cancer at age nine, which caused a huge strain on her family’s inadequate health insurance. Stories like these caught the attention of well-known local sports writer Neil Warner and inspired him to take action.
The Second Chance Foundation of Utah, started by Warner in 2009, was created to gather support for Utahns dealt unfavorable hands in their lives.
Over roughly two decades of writing for the Utah County Journal and The Daily Herald, Warner encountered story after story about people going through rough times, unfortunate circumstances and all sorts of adverse events.
“There’s just so many different needs that I found out about as a writer, and it just broke my heart,” Warner said.
Warner covered every story he could that involved people with these needs in order to get the word out about these unfortunate events. What started as a broken heart and a desire to spread the word about people in need grew into something more. As Warner witnessed, many people shoulder huge burdens without any support, but he realized that many people shared his desire to provide some sort of help.
“Everybody wants to help,” Warner said, “they just don’t know how.”
What Second Chance Foundation is all about, Warner explained, is giving people who face hard times something that they can’t get for themselves – a second chance.
As Warner continued, he noted that money is important, but giving families this second chance was more than just handing out checks. His foundation organizes events that can do a wide variety of things, including raising awareness about suicide prevention, bringing families of organ donors together with organ recipients and initiating scholarships.
“You don’t have to write us a check,” Warner said. “Come and help with an event.”
Events like the concert coming up at UVU give Warner and his foundation the opportunity to spread the word about his work as well as the potential to raise money for good causes.
On Oct. 25 UVU will host 3 Doors Down, Theory of a Deadman and Pop Evil at the UCCU Center. The concert will give some of Warner’s clients the chance to go out and have a good time, which can be a rare luxury for people facing dire circumstances, and even meet the band.
“It’s not a huge thing, it’s not a life changer, but it sure does make an impact for a while,” Warner said.
If you know of anyone facing cancer, disability or a serious stroke of bad luck, visit www.secondchancefoundationofutah.com or email Warner at [email protected] to find out what help might be available.
As Warner puts it, you don’t have to go far to find people who need help.
Support the Second Chance Foundation of Utah
Tuesday, Oct. 25
at the UCCU Center
Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
Concert starts at 6:30 p.m.
Ticket prices range
from $23 – 33 on smithtix.com
Show your student ID at the
UCCU Center Box office
for $15 tickets