Carl Boehm, BS '05 (second from left) founded Earn the Day with friends to honor the memory of Beau Rasmussen, BS '07 and help children in the Bay Area.

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Earn the Day

Two years ago, Beau Rasmussen, BS ’07—former president of the UO’s Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, and project director for a renewable energy company in the Bay Area—finished the 7.5-mile Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco, and headed toward the cold water of the Pacific Ocean at Ocean Beach.

His phone, credit cards, and passport were later found on the beach. His clothing was found in a pile on the sand.

Beau Rasmussen, though, was never seen again.

Security camera footage from near the race finish line showed him in his race gear, walking in the direction of the ocean. Search crews spent almost a month looking for him, but failed to turn up any trace. On June 29, 2013, his family held a memorial in Portland to remember the 27-year-old Duck.

But while Beau Rasmussen was never found, his friends and fraternity brothers are ensuring he lives on through Earn the Day, a charity they founded in his memory that helps underprivileged children enjoy life experiences they may otherwise never have the opportunity to enjoy.

“Fraternity brothers of Beau got together and wanted to have an event to celebrate Beau and celebrate his life,” said Carl Boehm, BS ’05. “We had an event, and local businesses donated their time and money to the cause. We gave the funds to Surfrider, which seemed like a natural fit—Beau was really into conservation and worked in green tech, so Surfrider made a lot of sense.”

The event, held on September 30, 2014, was a “surf day,” where Beau’s friends took 20 children from the local Boys and Girls Club out for a day of surfing, teaching them about ocean safety and respecting the water. They enjoyed themselves so much they created their own nonprofit, dubbed “Earn the Day”—after the Duck football slogan “Win the Day,” and in homage to Beau and the UO—so that they could help Bay Area children on an ongoing basis.

“We wanted something positive out of what happened, and to give back to the community,” Boehm said.

Earn the Day partnered with the Boys and Girls Club, and set up a mentorship program where children meet with staff members and set goals. The children set the goals themselves, based on what is appropriate for the individual child. Every three months, Earn the Day takes the children who are meeting their goals out for an outdoor experience. Most recently, the charity hired a catamaran and took the children sailing around the bay.

“It’s nice to take the energy from the loss of Beau and put it into something positive,” said Boehm. “It was a big blow to all of us. Redirecting the loss into something good helped us all. To see these kids having the time of their lives and do the things they’ve never been able to do—that’s the heart of it all.”

To learn more and support Earn the Day, visit them online at earntheday.org.