The annual Ted Lindsay Foundation celebrity golf outing takes place in September, but Lew and Lynn LaPaugh, the foundation’s president and secretary, respectively, stay busy all year long. The Ted Lindsay Foundation supports research and educational programs on the causes and management of autism spectrum disorder, or ASD.
The late Ted Lindsay, a celebrated Detroit Red Wings forward, created the foundation in 2001 after a friend’s son was diagnosed with ASD. Lindsay didn’t know much about autism at the time, but he wanted to help. To date, the foundation has raised over $5.5 million.
Lynn LaPaugh is his daughter. “That was Dad; he was selfless,” she says.
Lew, Ted’s son-in-law, took over the foundation’s leadership 14 years ago after a successful career in insurance. Lynn, meanwhile, had success with her advertising career. Now, the couple works together to further the foundation’s mission, sometimes in hands-on ways.
A woman with ASD who lives near the LaPaughs in southeast Michigan had a temporary transportation need. Lew volunteered to pick her up so she could get to work by 6 a.m.
“If you believe in what you’re doing, you have to get involved,” he says.
Lew and Lynn recently became supporters of the Frank Beckmann Center for Journalism at the
Mackinac Center. Frank, who passed away earlier this year, was a friend of theirs.
They met Frank when he began attending the foundation’s September celebrity golf outing and other fundraisers. He had started doing this, in part, because his daughter decided to pursue a career in autism therapy. Frank eventually became a celebrity staple at foundation fundraisers, volunteering in roles such as auctioneer, wine pourer and karaoke participant. He remains one of the few individuals to have received a commemorative watch from the Ted Lindsay Foundation for his work in autism advocacy.
“Frank was passionate and larger than life,” says Lew, who also faithfully listened to his talk radio show on WJR. Lew and Lynn see the Beckmann Center for Journalism as carrying on Frank’s life’s work. “Frank always said he wanted the best- informed listening audience,” says Lew. “He’d also hold people in power accountable to give an answer. The Beckmann Center is carrying on his vision.”