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The Tritonian

NDA Receives Generous Donation of Inspiring Book, ‘Somebody Should Tell the Story’


Mr. Jim Dillon, Jerry and Jo Ollman and other members of the community recently donated about 300 copies of the book Somebody Should Tell the Story, written by Tom Anderson, to Notre Dame Academy.

Notre Dame is one of many local schools where books are being donated.

In the 50s, 60s, and 70s, Dennis Rasmussen positively affected many people through his attendance and involvement at local sporting events–from youth sports leagues to high school athletic programs to the Green Bay Packers.

“Dennis had an intellectual disability, yet he was out in the community when others like him were kept in their homes away from others,” said the book’s author.

Rasmussen was always at sporting events. He had a lifetime pass to attend any Premontre home game for any sport. He also spent a lot of time around Green Bay West athletics.

“Dennis had an incredible memory when it came to sports statistics and certain games and players,” said Anderson.

One person that Rasmussen had an impact on was Packers and Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker, Ray Nitschke. Rasmussen also worked in the Packers mailroom in the early 1900s.

When attending Rasmussen’s funeral in 2010, Anderson saw the scrolling pictures, plethora of people in attendance and the plant arrangements from people like Mike Holmgren and the Fritz Schurmur family. He realized how many lives his little league team’s batboy had touched.

Anderson felt a calling to tell Rasmussen’s story. Somebody Should Tell the Story is a compilation of the numerous stories about Rasmussen that Anderson collected from himself and other community members.

Anderson says there are six main themes in his book. The six themes in the book are advocating on behalf of others, compassion, connection, overcoming stereotypes and barriers, seeking inclusion and celebrating a community that came together to help others.

“These six themes apply today just as much as they did back fifty and sixty years ago. The times have changed so the context of the six themes may be different today than they were back then. But these themes are fundamental to how we should treat each other,” explained Anderson.

“Everybody has a story and, in most cases, none of us know the complete story of another person. Yet all of us pass judgment on others or on situations that we do not know fully,” added the author.

“We need to think of people as human beings, regardless of their circumstances. Putting a label on someone is easy and more or less sweeps away responsibility. Knowledge sets you free, and allows you to think for yourself,” commented Dillon who helped fund the publication and donation of the book.

“Notre Dame is super grateful for the donation of these books so that we all can read about some outstanding, incredible people who are a part of who we are because they paved the way,” said NDA librarian Katie Gelb.

“I thought young adults could learn how an individual could have such a positive impact on others, even though he was different in some ways from others,” said Anderson.

“Anyone can learn from Dennis’ story,” he continued. “Every day is an opportunity to have a positive impact.”

Chapters in the book range from Dennis’mother’s efforts to advocate for her son. . . to the work of educational leaders like Joe Donovan and Syble Hopp. . . to a revelation of Vince Lombardi’s beliefs about inclusion. . . to the impact of organizations like Aspiro on the lives of those with disabilities.

One English teacher has already used the book in her class. “My freshmen were intrigued learning about the community and the efforts of people like Syble Hopp and Vince Lombardi, as well as Aspiro, in changing community attitudes towards those who are disabled,” said Mrs. Carolyn Brown.

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