Why I Give

Why I Give

Dr. Mark Praeger, pictured on the left, with Kevin Willmott, Academy Award Winning American film director and screenwriter, and Sandy Praeger at Audio-Reader's 50th Anniversary Celebration in October 2021. 

From the Fairway to Philanthropy: Dr. Mark Praeger's Journey with Audio-Reader

In the picturesque setting of a golf course, Dr. Mark Praeger's journey with Audio-Reader began. It was 2014 when Randy Austin, Chair of Audio-Reader's Advisory Board, introduced Dr. Praeger to the mission and community of Audio-Reader. What started as a favor to a friend, the two have been friends since meeting as Delta Upsilon fraternity brothers at KU, soon blossomed into a passionate commitment to a cause close to his heart.

“I had made a promise to myself not to be involved with any board during my first year of retirement,” Dr. Praeger recalls. “But how do you say no to Randy and Brenda (Audio-Reader's Development Director at the time)?” With this resolve, he agreed to assist with Audio-Reader's annual golf tournament, marking the beginning of a fulfilling journey of giving and involvement.

Audio-Reader's mission resonated deeply with Dr. Praeger. As he immersed himself with Audio-Reader and met the people it serves, he found himself inspired to contribute more significantly.

“It has been a wonderful experience for me, and I have met many wonderful people through Audio-Reader,” Dr. Praeger shares. This sentiment is echoed by his wife, Sandy, who has long been a fan of Audio-Reader. Sandy admired Petey Cerf, the visionary founder of Audio-Reader, with whom she worked closely in public service.

For Dr. Praeger, the support for Audio-Reader goes beyond personal involvement. “I believe that most people who support Audio-Reader do so for personal or family reasons,” he says. However, he also recognizes the broader impact of Audio-Reader's mission. “For those of us fortunate enough not to need their services, learning about the mission of Audio-Reader and the wonderful things it does for so many people encourages the rest of us to support it.”

One of the key avenues for this support is the annual Audio-Reader golf tournament. “I believe the golf tournament is one of many ways to accomplish that goal,” Dr. Praeger asserts. The tournament not only fosters a sense of community but also highlights the importance of Audio-Reader’s work, inspiring others to contribute. 

Dr. Praeger has been instrumental in securing sponsors as well as several teams each year, helping to grow the tournament tremendously. Through his involvement, he has not only supported a vital service but also inspired others to recognize and contribute to the invaluable work of Audio-Reader. As he continues to advocate for and support this organization, Dr. Praeger exemplifies how a single introduction can lead to a lifelong passion for philanthropy.

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Randy Austin, Audio-Reader Advisory Board Chair, and Dr. Mark Praeger pictured here at an Audio-Reader Golf Tournament