Inspirational People of LaBelle: Lance Horlacher

(Caloosa Belle/Danika J. Hopper) Lance Horlacher at the wheel of the Fossil Camp boat, Seekersaurus.

You may have seen him down at the local docks, living aboard his boat, the SS Minnow. Lance Horlacher is quite an inspiration to those who know him. He not only voluntarily helps maintain city property by washing the power stations and even the dock itself, he even keeps watch over people in the area at night, making sure families and kids are safe. As I, myself, have come to know that he is one of the most genuine and caring people one could know. He is absolutely a natural when it comes to mentoring youth, and is currently the Captain of the LaBelle Fossil Camp boat, Seekersaurus. Spending the entire month of June preparing for, and now throughout the month of July he is an integral part of the intensely active, adventure-based summer camp.

I met him when I had dropped my car keys into the river, and was waiting in the humid summer heat for a locksmith who was delayed for hours. Lance waited there with me, offering me cold water from his cooler, and keeping me company. I later found out it was his birthday, a day he could have gone on to enjoy the air-conditioned solitude of his boat or even to socialize with friends, but he stayed and made sure I was okay.

He has traveled the world, attended various colleges for bachelors degree in business, and once ran his own construction company. He is also quite the handyman whose trades, skills, and knowledge are seemingly endless, and he is always staying busy working to clean, maintain, or repair something for someone. A sort of unknown asset to LaBelle, Lance moved here after losing his beautiful daughter to muscular dystrophy and beloved wife to a terrible blood disease, and has lived here here for nearly 11 years.

Next time you see this truly big hearted and seriously interesting man around town, say hello. Lance has stories for days, both delightful and often a bit frightful, but alway entertaining. As I started to warn him that I was writing the above, encouraging people to reach out and meet Lance if they haven’t already— he says, with a big smile, “Oh, yeah! I welcome anybody to come talk to me. I talk to everyone who talks to me!”

Danika can be reached at dhopper@newszap.com

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