One might expect that Don Forman Las Vegas Philanthropist extraordinaire would be looking back on 2017 with some level of satisfaction. After all, it was a year when his usual plethora of charitable endeavors, as well as his business and personal efforts, seemed to yield highly satisfactory outcomes. However, that is not how Don Forman thinks about it from a personal standpoint.
Giving back to the community is not about how good it makes you feel or about how much you might save on your taxes. It’s about the fact that there are people in the world who are right on the edge of giving up hope. It’s about knowing that life has placed the tools of compassion in your hands and that you can do something to help. You can give hope. You can provide someone the strength to fight on for just one more day– and the day after that. That’s what it’s all about and Don Forman knows that.
In that regard, 2017 was not a year of great achievement for Don but rather one of terrible heartbreak for both him and all of Las Vegas. It was a year where the greatest possible tragedy visited our community and the greatest possible number of people found themselves suddenly on the side of needing some real compassion and help.
When it comes to dealing with a mass murder event, nobody congratulates themselves on a job well done or tries to take credit for what they did to lend a hand. Instead, you simply swallow the horror you feel inside and try to forget about what you’re witnessing. You need to get busy and simply do the best you can.
For Don Forman, doing the best you can generally adds up to accomplishing something even in the worst of times. Perhaps it comes from years of constant practice in lending a hand. It doesn’t matter if it is a huge crisis or just the quiet desperation of someone who is living in their own little private hell and trying to pretend that everything is going to be okay. Long ago, Don realized that, for these people, it was never going to be okay unless someone got involved.
It would have been easy to immerse himself in his day-to-day business running a successful auto dealership. He could have been at home savoring the largest private wine collection in the country. He could have been doing those things but he chose to do something else with his time instead. What he chose to do was to get involved in his community by uniting his talents and resources with those of many fellow Nevadans who were interested in making the world just a little bit better than it was the day before.
It is impossible to know how many people have been helped by Don Forman, nor is there any tally being kept of those who have been inspired to join the fight by his selfless example. In both cases, the number must be a large and ever-growing one. Those are really the only things that this extraordinarily giving man wants to be remembered for. Not that he has played a large part in making Las Vegas a better place, but that so many others have been inspired, which makes his part become an ever-shrinking percentage of the total effort.