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Feb
28

Horner Foundation Honors Roads Less Taken

paul flyer picture 1987 Sanderson graduate Paul Horner was killed seven years ago while paddling the Oyacachi River in Ecuador. From American Whitewater Magazine:

In all regards Paul was a tough act to follow, and leaves behind a soulful legacy of discernment. He despised television and fast food, never listened to commercial radio, and was generally suspicious of the corporate world, but was never self-righteous or prudish. He basically loved to challenge himself, and found every aspect of life worth examining. Descending rivers with close friends became a spiritual calling and a pursuit that he found to be true.  His death is not to be compared with those of the inexperienced or the foolish, nor was it the result of a dreadful miscalculation brought on by a driving ego. Paul was simply pursuing his dream and it delivered him to this place, a beautiful jungle river in rural South America and the company of friends. A hero’s death.

Sanderson students the mid 80’s knew and liked Paul, though he really came out of his shell at UNC. Just before beginning college, I got to know Paul through family friends. Before long it seemed that everywhere I turned, a friend of mine knew him. He had a funny dichotomy of a quiet manner, yet very talkative when the right button got pushed.

Paul’s family and friends have started the Paul Horner Foundation . It aims to further the spirit of Paul by identifying and nurturing a Wake County public school student  each year who wishes to engage in an unusual endeavor which might not necessarily be encouraged by his peers or the society around him. The Foundation believes it important to support young people who pursue uncommon goals in a spirit of kindness and individuality. The Foundation will fund a full scholarship to allow this young person, via a summer experience, to pursue an uncommon dream and thereby inspire those around him.

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