For decades, Wally McLaughlin, who passed away on November 10, was a close friend of the Crim Fitness Foundation. He is remembered by many as a great friend, storyteller, motivator, and philanthropist.
Mr. McLaughlin moved to the Flint area in 1973. As a business owner, he got to know hundreds of people in the community. In the late 1970s, he found his way to the Crim through a group of friends who worked out together at the local YMCA. It led to an impressive “run” with Mr. McLaughlin completing 37 Crim 10-mile races.
But Mr. McLaughlin’s relationship to the Crim was much more than that. As one of the first Adult Training Program Leaders, he will be remembered for his stories, his coaching, and his inspiration - which led to countless runners finishing their first Crim. Harry Garrison, Crim Board Member and close friend of the McLaughlin’s, said, “Wally was a very happy person and people liked him. He was very social and he was there with people and for people. His way of giving back was helping people through the Crim.”
According to Garrison, his friend also gave generously to many charitable causes in the community and he was also one of the Crim’s Chairman's Circle Founders, a group of donors who helped the Crim Fitness Foundation fuel its continued growth. Mr. McLaughlin was a true example of the Crim lifestyle; he created vibrancy through his active lifestyle. He ate well, took care of his health, and participated in all kinds of activities from skiing, to marathon running, to “run-yaking” - a mixture of running and kayaking all throughout the state of Michigan - an idea envisioned by Crim historian Riley McLincha.
Everyone at the Crim Fitness Foundation would like to offer their condolences to Margaret, his wife of nearly forty years, his three children, and all of his extended family and friends.
Thank you, Mr. McLaughlin, for all you did for the Crim and this community.