David “Olaf” Brown was a 2007 graduate of the Minnesota School of Business-Brooklyn Center massage therapy program. After graduation, he began working as a massage therapist at Uptown Dermatology & SkinSpa in Minneapolis, Minn.
After graduation, Brown continued to be very active at the Minnesota School of Business in Brooklyn Center. He served on the college’s program advisory committee, offering insight to the skills and expertise students need to learn before beginning their massage careers. Brown attended massage therapy guest panels and helped to pilot a mentoring program. Over Early Fall 2012 quarter, his picture hung on the wall as a featured employer who fostered the “We Care” attitude.
Brown lost his battle with lung cancer on November 16, 2012. Stephanie Petersen, massage therapy program chair, knew Brown well and was determined to show his family that we cared for him, so she put together “Massage for a Cause.”
The event took place on Tuesday, December 4, at the campus. Staff members and students who wanted to dress comfortably for the day could do so by donating money to the cause. By paying above and beyond what was asked, a ten minute chair massage was included. Chair massages were also offered for $1 per minute.
Everyone who took advantage of the chair massages was entered into a drawing for one of two 60-minute massages. In addition to the events on campus, a silent online auction took place with five massages and one hair cut/style.
Maria Leonard, academic manager of allied health programs for Minnesota School of Business, joined massage students and Petersen in giving massages to those who donated.
Leonard had the following to say about Brown: “Olaf was an active member of the massage therapy program advisory board. He was always there to give positive and honest input about our program. He was a wonderful student, massage therapist, and mentor to our students. He will be missed. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to his family.”
Petersen said, “I cannot say enough good things about this man. He was the most enthusiastic and meticulous student and therapist I have ever met. His classmates whom I was able to contact about the news were devastated. He brought so much fun and life to class without compromising the integrity of what we were learning. When he was a guest speaker, the students attending the panel were so engrossed in and inspired by what he had to say that they kept him a half hour late. When students stay at school beyond their required time, that says a lot. He wrote us a thank-you letter and invited the students to contact him with any further questions, even after they graduate. That says a lot, too. He is sorely missed by many, many people.”
The one-day event was extremely successful in that $695.79 was raised. All of the proceeds will be given to Brown’s family to help cover travel expenses, medical bills, and funeral costs. A huge thank you to all who participated!