Howard L. Aslinger endurance weekend raises scholarship money

By Stephanie Byars - bio | email

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Many in the Cape Girardeau area know the name Howard Aslinger.  His daughter, Kim Kelpe, and co-founder of the Howard Aslinger Foundation can tell you about him best.

"He coached soccer, coached basketball, very active in the community, he was an insurance salesman for 30 years," Kim said.

Howard Aslinger led a full and active life by any standards. But for him, those accomplishments came in spite of a life long challenge.

"If you heard everything he did and didn't know him you would never know that he was in a wheelchair," Kim said.

Mr. Aslinger came down with Polio at 11 years old. He was wheelchair bound for the rest of his life but he never let that stop him.

"He looked at him being in a wheelchair not as a handicap but as an inconvenience," Kim said.

Mr. Aslinger passed away in June of 2009.

But his motto inspired Kelpe, along with her sisters and mother to start the Howard Aslinger Foundation.

The foundation gives scholarships to those with disabilities with an event that asks you to inconvenience yourself.

The Howard L. Aslinger Endurance Weekend is a unique event in which you can participate in a 24 or 12 hour ultramarathon. You can also take part in a midnight 5K as part of the event.

"This is 24 hours which is testing yourself to see how far you can go in a day," said Brian Kelpe.

Brian is a track coach and ultramarathoner himself, who ran in the endurance run last year. He says it's all about testing your own limits.

"There's no finish line, you just go against the clock and see how far your body can go," Brian said.

In the spirit of a man, who always tested his own limits.

"He never let his inconvenience stop him from doing anything," Kim said. "Just inconvenience yourself a little bit to see what it like to not have everything exactly like you want it."

The Howard L. Aslinger Endurance Weekend begins Friday night on March 18.

You can pick up a registration form at ACE Daycare at 2552 Independence in Cape.

There will be sign-ups on the day of the run.

The 24 hour endurance run begins at 7 p.m. Friday. The midnight 5K is at midnight Friday night.

Click here to learn more about the Howard Aslinger Foundation.

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