Nothing I say here will really tell Luke's story completely, or how he touched the lives of those who had the chance to know him.
For those of you who did, you probably remember him as that guy who could find humor in almost anything. Luke was as good-natured as they come, and a true friend. Through good, bad, and anything else, Luke was always there making some awful pun or witticism that was probably just a little "too soon".
I had the chance to really get to know him and his sister Alex through our weekly trivia team. I hardly say this lightly, but this man had what seemed to be a depthless knowledge of all things sports and pop-culture. Not always the good pop-culture, but often the sort of things that make you raise an eyebrow and incredulously ask, "Really? Why on Earth do you even remember the fictional band 'Zack Attack' from 'Saved by the Bell'?". That actually happened, by the way. I doubt the show's producers could have named that band if they were asked about it today, but Luke? Please, that was a softball.
For the world of quizbowl, Luke was part of the New England circuit in Boston circa the late-90s / early-2000s window. Back when NAQT-personality Matt Bruce was around to team up with him.
Through Matt, and Luke's general sense of being awesome, the man was brought to many NAQT HSNCT events over the past years. There's a decent chance he read for you, if you played, and an even better chance he at least helped set up your room's buzzers.
And from Central Florida, Luke was a mainstay at as many Valencia-hosted quizbowl tournaments as I can remember. Chris Borglum relied on Luke to bring his professionalism, skill, and humor to local events for years now. It's hard for me to imagine what the next tournament will be like without Luke walking about, yet unfortunately all of us here in the Orlando-area will get to find out.
I digress --- the point of this here is 1) to acknowledge that Luke was a great human, someone whose company I and others genuinely respected and enjoyed, and 2) to know that his loss is going to be hard, not only on his friends and the local quizbowl community, but for his sister, Alex.
If you don't know all of the details, Luke, a man in his mid-30s, suffered a severe and unexpected stroke recently.
Many of you may have known Luke not as a trivia-guru or quizbowl staple, but as Alex's older brother and best friend. I can't imagine what she's going through right now, losing someone as close and as loved as Luke. Alex --- I'm so sorry.
Luke was a friend of all and just a cool, kind of awkward but lovable guy. What I'd like to propose here, with the support of Chris Borglum and others, is that at least collectively those who knew Luke, those who know Alex, or people who are simply willing to help out, consider chipping in a few dollars to support Alex through this awful time.
I've made up a somewhat arbitrary number for this fundraiser. Really, anything helps, and from talking to Alex just the idea that people are thinking of her and her brother is appreciated.
As I said above, I made the fundraiser number arbitrary. If anything, it was to be something realistic to achieve, yet significant enough to help alleviate some of Alex's costs in the near future.
In less than 12 hours, that total was met.
What I've done is increased the number. Again, there isn't some magic total out there; this site simply requires each page to have a number. I wish it didn't; especially as this really is just a collection for Alex and a memorial fund for Luke. This isn't to send someone to Europe or to the Little League World Series.
I raised the number this morning because I don't want people to think we met some finite goal, and now Alex will be good to go. She relied on Luke: yes, as a brother; yes, as a best friend; but they lived together and shared expenses, too.
If you knew Luke, then you probably knew how much he took care of Alex. Now that he's gone, this is us (the collective "us") trying to help in that role.
It's amazing to have had so much support through this already.
First: I continue to be astonished as to the responses this page has seen over the past few days. The amount of support is overwhelming, not just to me but to Alex.
Second: Because of the absolutely awesome response so far, the total here was reached...again. I honestly don't know what to do other than to thank everyone who has helped, and to mention how grateful Alex is.
I've decided to raise the total again; it's the same reasoning as in the last update. And again, every dollar helps (read as "even $1 is helpful here").
- Gopal Reddy
- Stephen F
- Eric D
- Robert Goldstein