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Rail City Profile: She just keeps giving and giving and giving ...
by Dan Eckles
Sep 20, 2012 | 10609 views | 3 3 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lori Fralick
Lori Fralick
There is an inspirational book called “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.” That could be the life motto for Lori Fralick.

She was moving from home to home, when one was even available, constantly as a child. Her mother was killed in a car accident when she was 14 and she has seen some of the tougher things in life, many at a young age, and many most of us never want to see.

But unlike many who suffered similar fates at a young age, Fralick persevered in the face of many an obstacle. She is a mother of three and happily married for the past 12 years. She has an undergraduate and master’s degree.

In spite of the challenges she faced as a youth and young woman, now she’s helping many who face those same ills in life. Fralick is the supervisor for the Reno Police Department’s Victims’ Services Unit.

“I grew up really tough, and homeless at times,” Fralick said. “I lived in a battered women’s shelter and grew up not having very much. So now I enjoy meeting people from all walks of life, treating them equally and not judging them. It’s really rewarding to offer comfort and assistance to people at probably the worst time in their life. For me, it puts life in perspective. I try to take it when I go home everyday. I’ll start to complain about something and then catch myself and say ‘no, don’t go there. I’ve got to let this go.’”

Hence the don’t-sweat-the-small-stuff credo.

Fralick has been with RPD since it created the position she holds seven years ago. Prior to that, she worked for 13 years in the Reno city attorney’s office as a victim’s advocate. Then for two years she worked for Governor Brian Sandoval, when he was the state’s attorney general.

She’s gained plenty of respect along the way.

“When I was in charge of family crimes I looked at her more as a partner than an employee,” retired RPD detective Rick Bjelke said. “They say a lot people are replaceable but she is not. She is an asset to the community. I don’t say that about many people, but she goes way beyond her responsibilities.

“She’s got a true compassion for her job. She believes in what she does. She’s got a very good balance of keeping her emotions in check and staying at a safe distance but also helping victims of violent crimes.”

Along the way, Fralick has also worked countless volunteer hours. She stressed that many of the people she helps are very grateful.

“Sometimes the people I work with express how helpful it is to have somebody who is supportive,” Fralick said. “Until something really bad happens, most people don’t know we exist. Sometimes people express their gratitude immediately and later sometimes you get a letter. Others want to volunteer and give back.”

Fralick said she sees people’s gratitude expressed in many different ways.

“People donate money to non-profits,” the Sparks resident said. “This is definitely a profession where you see people want to pay it forward, having an experience with victims’ advocates makes many people want to give back. It can be part of the healing process. I’ve had families help change legislation and do things that are valuable to us doing this work across the state.”

As if Fralick hasn’t done enough to help others, she’s added to her volunteer duties over the past year. Fralick is the President for the Booster Club at Spanish Springs High School.

Her two daughters, Jordan 22, who attends Oklahoma University in Norman, Okla., and Jessica, 20, who attends UNR, both graduated from the local school. Jordan was on the cheer team and Jessica on the girls basketball team at SSHS. Fralick’s son, Hunter, 16, is a junior at SSHS and plays football, basketball and baseball for the Cougars.

So Fralick knows a bit about the athletic programs at Spanish Springs and when it was a struggle for administrators at the 11th-year school to find booster volunteers, she stepped up.

“I actually didn’t decide to be the president,” said Fralick, 44. “I had always been kind of a worker bee behind the scenes, working in concessions or whatever.

“I went to a boosters meeting. It’s kind of funny because I promised my husband Rob as a I walked out the door that I wouldn’t volunteer for anything. At the meeting, Principal Tasha Fuson was asking for volunteers and no one wanted to help. I felt so bad. It was kind of a knee-jerk reaction, but a lot of us started talking and said ‘if you do this, I’ll do this.’ A few of us got together and made a pact to work together and get it done. Being president wasn’t planned, but I’ve got no regrets.”

The highlight of Fralick’s run as SSHS booster president may have come last spring. The Cougars’ 2010-11 quarter auction fundraiser was a bit of a bust with its poor attendance. But the 2011-12 event, held last spring under Fralick’s leadership, was a glowing success, breaking records for attendance and monies raised.

“She has just done an excellent job,” SSHS athletic director Art Anderson said. “It’ s hard to imagine anyone doing a better job than Lori’s done. She works as hard as any of our head coaches. Her work ethic is amazing. There is no quit in her.”

The modest Fralick was quick to deflect praise about the fundraiser’s success and the success of her leadership. She pushed that to the boosters group as a whole.

“I am really a firm believer in teamwork,” Fralick said. “I played sports. Not one person can do it all by themselves. We have committed people, gifted in all aspects. We’ve got a good team.”

Fralick said her work with RPD, helping those suffering through a really tough patch, and her efforts at Spanish Springs, to raise funds and create opportunities for driven students, gives her a nice balance. That balance, along with watching her children grow and thrive, makes her the most happy.

“Balance is the perfect word,” she said. “I give so much on the job and then giving to the SSHS kids’ lives helps me too. I need that … Jordan is working toward a major at OU in social work and Jessica wants to be a teacher. I’m just super happy that my kids are not driven by material things. They want to help others and that makes me excited.”

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Sara Asuncion
September 20, 2012
Lori is definately such an amazing woman. Anyone who knows her knows that they are blessed to have them in their lives. I look at her in awe. She is not only my Aunt (nor am I biased) but a mentor and my hero. She's made impacts on my life in both rough and amazing times that she'll never even probably realize, but does it because that's who she is. A giver and such a positive person. I look up to her so much as an aunt, mother, wife, friend and advocate. We all love you so much Lori and you make us so proud!!!
Kathleen Fralick
September 20, 2012
Lori is my daughter-in-law, but please don't think that my comments are biased. She is an amazing excellent wife, mother, advocate, and a true friend. She is one of the "special" people given to all of us by God to help those less fortunate. Thank-you for writing this article. Every word was true. I am blessed to have her in my life.
Lisa Hare
September 20, 2012
Thank you Dan for highlighting a very special person in our community! I along with the Boosters at SSHS have witnessed first hand Lori's devotion and work ethic. Both our school and community benefit by her leadership and generosity of time! Lori is a wonderful example to us all.
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