The benefactor of the Thrasher Research Fund, E. W. "Al" Thrasher, was born
June 30, 1920 in Chelan, Washington. He started working at age 10 to help
support his family and was cutting cordwood for sale at age 14. From this
early age he combined hard work with innovative improvements. He focused his
inventions on reducing waste in the lumber industry, establishing a research
facility devoted entirely to improved lumber recovery. Altogether, his
inventions enabled lumber producers to reduce waste by over 30%, vitalizing
the entire lumber industry. Later, he became Corporate Vice President of
Masonite Corporation, was responsible for its lumber division and served on
the Board of Directors.
In 1972, Mr. Thrasher merged his inventive spirit with his love for
children, donating 2,034 acres of second-growth redwood timber property for
medical research. The proceeds from its sale became the endowment for the
Thrasher Research Fund. In recognition of his significant contributions to
the health of children worldwide, the University of Utah awarded Mr.
Thrasher an honorary doctorate degree in May 2003.
Mr. Thrasher took an active role as a member of the Fund's Executive
Committee until his death on July 3, 2005.