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Using His Gifts

Meet Ed Klaas

"Above and beyond" aptly describes Roswell “do gooder,” Ed Klaas. A proud U.S. Navy veteran and Roswell Rotarian, Ed exemplifies the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self.” A business owner who lives and works in Roswell, Ed is also known for continuously and generously giving his time, talent, and treasure to many charities and causes, especially those serving children, veterans, the homeless, and hurricane relief. Together with his two children, he created Klaasical Music; a foundation that accepts gently used musical instruments, repairs and tunes them, and then donates them to young, aspiring musicians locally and around the world who need them but can’t afford them.

As a leader of the National Association of Landscape Professionals, Ed has participated for over 20 years in Renewal and Remembrance at Arlington National Cemetery across the river from our nation’s capital. Each July, landscape professionals from across the country donate their time and expertise to enhance the hallowed grounds of Arlington to honor the men and women buried there. He has led irrigation efforts and overseen the children’s program. In 2017, he spoke to hundreds assembled on the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entering World War I, from the same dais that President Woodrow Wilson spoke a century earlier. Later that day, he delivered similar remarks, this time in Spanish, at another nearby national cemetery. Last summer, in partnership with the National Park Service and the Trust for the National Mall, Ed spoke and led the program from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on its 100th anniversary. This month he will again lead the annual children’s program and address the group at the Washington Monument on the National Mall, “America’s front yard.”

Ed is also a published author. His second book is due out next month and will be available in hardcover, paperback, e-book, and audio editions. It is a hopeful and inspirational profile of fifty famous people who attempted suicide, but who survived and went on to live extraordinarily successful lives. He hopes it will be a useful tool to help anyone dealing with suicidal thoughts or issues. Ed chose this subject because of his own challenges with depression and an unsuccessful suicide attempt in the midst of the darkest period of his life. “Even when it seems as if we are on top of the world, life can change in an instant and we must always do what we can to be prepared to deal with those changes. Allow others to help you when you are in need, but never stop using your gifts to serve others,” says Klaas. This book further demonstrates Ed’s commitment to going above and beyond to help others.  

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