Dave was a Bellingham native through and through. He grew up in a home right next to Whatcom Falls Park, played high school soccer and was the biggest Seahawks fan any of us know (he had a Steve Largent poster on his bedroom wall well into his 20’s). After graduating from Sehome High in 1999 Dave followed in his father’s heroic footsteps and joined the US Marine Corp. He bravely served two tours on the front lines in Iraq. He then returned to Iraq as a private contractor, assisting in the re-building of Iraq’s communication infrastructure, aiding not only our troops but the Iraqi people. Shortly before marrying his wife, Marla, Dave pursued an exciting job opportunity setting up satellite communications on ships across the globe. The couple moved to Ft. Lauderdale, FL to be closer to his company’s home base. On July 17, 2012, 10 months after his wedding and 1 month after his 31st birthday, Dave was tragically shot multiple times while checking his mail by an unstable man illegally staying in the apartment complex. Dave died on the way to the hospital. Dave left behind a strong legacy, his sister, his niece and nephew, his wife and a large group of family and friends who love Dave and the light he brought into the world. Please help us keep the memory of Dave’s smile, his sense of humor, his love of a good time and his devotion to his country and home city alive by donating to the 3rd annual Charity Concert benefiting the Dave Nelson Memorial Foundation.
About the Dave Nelson Memorial Foundation
Our Mission: Uniting friends and family to celebrate and honor the life of Dave Nelson by serving the community he loved.
In 2013, we held the 1st annual Dave Nelson Memorial Classic in honor of our friend, Dave. In our first two years we raised over 15,000 dollars for the Wounded Warrior Project. In our third year, we achieved 501c3 status and worked closely with the Bellingham School district to establish the Dave Nelson Memorial Scholarship. We are proud to help Bellingham students - whose family members have dedicated their lives to our Armed Forces - to achieve their educational goals.
As the Dave Nelson Memorial Foundation enters its 9th year of charitable service we are proud to be a registered 501(c)3 that gives back to the city Dave loved. We are hyperfocused on spending all of our charitable donations locally, with a multi-faceted approach to providing this great city’s youth with education and mental health services through both short and long term spending. Every cent of profit will be distributed across 3 local platforms:
• THE DAVE NELSON MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP FOR STUDENTS OF MILITARY FAMILIES - A partnership with Whatcom Dollars for Scholars that provides secondary education funding for Bellingham students whose immediate family are serving or have served our Armed Forces.
• THE WWU DAVE NELSON MEMORIAL GRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP FOR MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING -Providing tuition assistance for Western Students from Bellingham for their nationally acclaimed graduate program that prepares students for a career making a difference in our federal, state and local institutions.
• WHATCOM DISPUTE RESOLUTION CENTER YOUTH PROGRAM -This amazing program educates young people in our community on healthy, productive ways to settle differences without resorting to violence. We are so encouraged by their work and eager to be able to impact our community.