Dina Lareau grew up in McLean Virginia, received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and a Master of Arts Degree in English Literature from American University. She taught English at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda Maryland for 26 years before “retiring” and moving to Atlanta with her husband. Looking for a 2nd career, she started volunteering as a phone receptionist at the Marcus Institute, a non-profit dedicated to providing services to children with developmental disabilities and behavior problems. During that time, Dina was recognized for her personal skills and excellence in communicating through her writing and oral presentation and was offered a position in the Development Office where she eventually became the Assistant to the Director of Development coordinating special events, gift-giving and donor programs.
Although she never played organized sports, she’s enjoyed being a fan of many. One of her fondest memories as a young child was being allowed to fall asleep on the front porch of her family’s home listening to a night baseball game on the radio with her older brother – “you can stay here with me as long as you listen and don’t talk!”
Sports also became very important to her when, as a teacher, she saw the effect they could have on many of her students and she started attending their games and meets on a regular basis. She became especially interested in the girls basketball and girls track and field teams. She worked closely with the coaches of those teams in encouraging the girls to balance their sports efforts with their academic requirements. She could see how the girls matured as individuals playing sports, and recognized the accomplishments of others who weren’t playing, but who were instead writing about sports in the school newspaper, announcing games, serving as equipment managers and doing all those things necessary to promote the achievements of the players.
A Women’s Sports Museum is easy to believe in when you see the impact that sports has on the lives of all those who participate in sports at whatever level, especially the impact on girls and women.