You’ve heard plenty about Leighton Vander Esch’s on-field exploits here at OBNUG over the last couple of years, and they’ve all been pretty eye-opening. Well, how about some Vander Esch news that fits more in the heart-warming category? The Boise State alum just barely finished his sterling, Pro Bowl-caliber rookie season for the Dallas Cowboys but he’s not resting much on his laurels (and frankly, I don’t even think LVE has laurels), he recently footed the lion’s share of the bill for his high school alma mater, Salmon River High to get an extreme weight room makeover—$45,000 to be precise.
According to the Idaho County Free Press, Vander Esch saw a need and thanks to his newly-found/earned financial stature was able to give back to his community in a big way.
“It was the first thing that popped into my mind because it was a big need,” Vander Esch told the Idaho Press. “It just made the most sense. A lot of the racks and stuff were all made in shop class and everybody has been saying we need a new weight room. It was barely even a weight room before, and now to see the excitement level of the guys using the new room has just been awesome.”
Vander Esch’s agent, Ron Slavin said that they’d worked out a discount with Boise Fitness Equipment for LVE to do some promotional work for the company, but Leighton still footed $45k of his own money for the project, which was worth about $70,000 total. Maybe the next great Idaho 8-man player can follow in Vander Esch’s footsteps now that they can work out without worrying that the welds on the squat rack that was made in the school’s shop class will hold.
Of course, Vander Esch’s gift wasn’t entirely altruistic, he gets to use the weight room himself before school starts—he’s usually in before 6 AM.
When it came time for the equipment to be delivered and installed at Salmon River in early February, Vander Esch helped unload the truck and unpack the boxes himself.
Wait...he unloaded the equipment and unpacked the boxes? Okay, it was 95% altruistic—minimum.
Well done, Leighton. You continue to make Idaho proud (the state, not the school—the school would be BOISE STATE).