Suzy Karlinski: The Teddy Karlinski Memorial Scholarships
Special to The Aspen Times
Beloved local Teddy Karlinski died in 2016 after suffering a fatal seizure. He was 28.
Teddy developed an adult seizure disorder when he was 21, stemming from spinal meningitis contracted as an infant. In infancy he was hospitalized for two weeks, where he suffered multiple febrile seizures.
With incredible resilience, Teddy recovered from the meningitis and grew up to be a happy, rambunctious little boy and later an accomplished athlete. He especially loved golf and snowboarding and throughout his childhood and teen years actively participated in both Aspen Junior Golf and the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club.
The Karlinski family established two memorial scholarships in Teddy’s name as a means to provide financial support to deserving young athletes in the AJG and AVSC snowboard programs. The $2,500 scholarships are awarded annually to athletes who embody Teddy’s traits of commitment, talent, sportsmanship, humility, leadership and kindness toward others.
It means everything to the family that Teddy’s legacy lives on through these athletes. The Karlinskis are profoundly grateful for the donations they have received and continue to receive. They thank the many caring and generous donors who honor Teddy’s memory by supporting these very worthwhile scholarships.
Here are the previous scholarship winners:
Jack Hughes, Golf 2017
Jack grew up in the AJG program since preschool and played on the Aspen High School golf team, where he was a vital part of AHS’s state championship in 2018. In recommending Jack for the scholarship, his coaches stated that Jack embodies Teddy’s spirit not only by being a great competitor, but also by being a gracious sportsman committed to honoring the game. Jack understands that being a great golfer is much more than possessing skills — it’s earning the trust and respect of others, understanding humility and perseverance, and having integrity. The scholarship enabled Jack to travel to multiple highly-ranked AJGA events where he honed his tournament skills. Only last week he won the competitive Hale Irwin tournament in Denver. Jack continues to pursue his dream of playing golf at the University of Colorado, which he will attend this fall.
Logan Lauffer, Snowboard 2017
Logan is a talented and dedicated snowboarder from Rifle who got up at 5:30 in the morning and took the bus three to four times per week to train with AVSC, where he applied himself with vigor and became series champion in each snowboard discipline he competed in. At 15, Logan knew he wanted to push his riding to the next level and showed the maturity to embrace the disciplined training to accomplish that. The scholarship enabled him to travel to high level, national events on the Revolution Tour where he had a great showing until he suffered an injury. Even though Logan’s injury prevented him from competing at USASA Nationals, he made the trip to Copper Mountain that year just to support his teammates. Like Teddy, he inspires others to be their best and is always cheering on his teammates.
Dominic Lanese, Golf 2018
Dominic, a 2019 AHS graduate, had been a player on the golf team since he was a freshman and also played on the team that achieved the incredible state championship win in 2018. Dom grew up at Aspen Golf Club, where he says he found his “happy place.” Since childhood, his dream has been to become an accomplished golfer and have a future in the golf industry. He loves the game of golf because he says the learning never ends. The scholarship enabled Dom to travel and participate in AJGA and junior amateur tournaments in which he refined his tournament play. Dom was recently named the ‘“AHS Male Senior Athlete of the Year,” a significant achievement. He will be attending CU this fall, where he hopes to walk onto the men’s golf team.
Sean Connelly, Snowboard 2018
Sean is an enthusiastic, soon-to-be junior at AHS, who shows great promise as a highly-ranked snowboarder. He has been a dedicated member of AVSC since childhood, where he realized how much he enjoyed competition. This winter he placed first in all local USASA events he competed in. But he also committed to a more rigorous training and competition schedule in order to improve his skills and push himself further. Sean used the scholarship funds to travel to and compete in USSA Revolution Tour and Hole Shot events, very elevated competition. He also competed in USASA Nationals at Copper Mountain, where he placed second in slalom and fourth (one off the podium) in boardercross. Sean will continue his hard work next winter and, we have no doubt, will continue to impress.
The Karlinski family is incredibly proud of these four athletes and feels gratitude to be able to help these deserving young people achieve their dreams. Both personally and athletically, they give honor to Teddy’s memory.
Thank you again to all who have generously supported this cause. To help keep the scholarships going in the future, donations may be sent to: Teddy Karlinski Golf Scholarship Fund or Teddy Karlinski Snowboard Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 6664, Snowmass Village, CO 81615.