On Sunday, April 3, Gary Baszler passed away at age 31, in Portland, Oregon. If not for Gary and his brother, FosterClub would never have been created.
Gary, fondly nicknamed Gee-Gee, had a big heart, generous smile, and loved stories and long conversations. He graduated from Seaside High School and attended Clatsop Community College. He loved good jokes and making people laugh.
Gary had a difficult childhood. At the age of 10, Gary and his 12-year-old brother Terry befriended a young couple in the neighborhood, Jeff and Celeste Bodner. The following year, the two brothers were taken into foster care and suggested to a caseworker the Bodners would make good foster parents for them.
So it was at this time, as Gary and Terry entered foster care as children, the Bodners entered the foster care system as new parents. It was this experience that led Celeste to conceive of an organization that could provide peer support and information for young people experiencing foster care.
Gary and his brother spent the rest of the childhood with the Bodners, eventually welcoming in new siblings Seth, Lucy, and Chris. Gary liked to learn how cars and electronics work. As a kid, he built model cars and, despite challenges, Gary got his driver’s license and saved up enough money for his own car. Into adulthood, Gary had dreams of becoming a truck driver.
While Gary struggled to make his way through life, he added so much his family’s and friend’s lives. The trauma and difficulty that Gary experienced as a child followed him into adulthood, as he struggled with mental health and addiction. When Gary was found, victim of an apparent accidental overdose, found among his possession were two model cars.
Getting a driver’s license and access to driving remain out of reach for many of the nation’s foster youth. In Gary’s honor, Gary’s Fund will benefit young people in foster care who have dreams of driving, including access to insurance, driver’s licenses, and careers that involve cars and trucks.
Thank you for your contribution.
1. By Check: Mail check (payable to FosterClub) to 810 Broadway Street #203, Seaside, Oregon 97138
2. By Phone: Call (503) 717-1552, and we can process your credit card payment over the phone
3. Online: Fill out the secure form below