Supporting Cancer Research and Remembering a Special “Irish” Dad

Bob Van Shura was all about Notre Dame.

Imagine his joy when his daughter, Kerry, was recruited to play lacrosse there.

Kerry McAvoy, Principal at ONE Environmental Group, was part of a nationally ranked Fighting Irish lacrosse team while earning her undergraduate degree in environmental science. While there, Notre Dame made its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 in 2004 followed by a first-ever appearance in the Final Four in 2006.

Bob Van Shura, or “Pops,” as Kerry called him, never missed a game despite living halfway across the country in Bel Air, Maryland.

Bob Van Shura passed away on January 13, 2021, a loss still fresh for Kerry, who is participating in the Notre Dame Women’s Lacrosse Daughters for Dads fundraiser, a virtual 5K held throughout the month of March with proceeds benefitting the Harper Cancer Research Institute. Kerry did not lose her father to cancer, but in addition to believing in the cause, she values its mantra stated by another former player, “Dollars Lead to Research; Research Leads to more Time; More Time is priceless.”

“There’s never enough time with those we love,” she says. “You never think it’s going to happen to you. It might sound cliché, but it’s true.”

Bob Van Shura wasn’t in any way a sad man, so Kerry strives not to be in remembering her dad, who said “every day is Saturday” after retiring from medical sales. He enjoyed golf, showing off his singing and dancing talents, and spending time with his family, both human and canine. 

“He bought his granddaughter a lacrosse stick for Christmas last year; the lacrosse tradition lives on.” “He was my number one fan, and we are all so lucky to have had him as our Pops,” Kerry says.

To register for the Daughters for Dads 5K or to access the donation page, click here.