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Community rallies for software creator

Lou Douros woke up the morning of Jan. 22 with a premonition that something terribly wrong was going to happen that day.

He opted to not travel on dangerous Highway 49 to go shopping, and instead took his wife and five children for a walk along Deer Creek.

And that’s where his premonition came true.



Walking along the creek south of Grass Valley, the 48-year-old Douros jumped up on a log. In a split second the log and Douros were rolling into the creek. The log landed on top of Douros, causing major internal injuries.

With his children watching in horror, Douros’ wife, Melinda, jumped in, managed to free him from the log and pulled him to safety. From there, he was flown to Sutter Roseville Medical Center, where he spent the next five weeks in the intensive care unit.




“He’s come close to death many times,” according to Margaret Hughes, a vice-president at Grass Roots Software, which Douros owns with partner John Schultheiss. The accident cut his pancreas, and caused doctors to remove one of his kidneys and his spleen.

Complicating the situation was a pending presentation of Grass Roots’ newest product at a major technological conference in Phoenix. According to Hughes, the company had invested major money and time into Freepath, which allows people to move freely between various mediums while using PowerPoint for presentations.

Douros did not make the conference, but others did and the product got a warm reception, Hughes said.

With the product slated for sales soon, the company looks solid, but the medical costs of the accident have put Douros in a personal financial crisis.

Although the bills continue to mount, “I saw him Saturday and things are looking up,” Schultheiss said this week.

To help with the bills, a lasagna dinner fundraiser will be held from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the St. Canice Center on Reward Street in Nevada City. There will also be live music and a silent auction featuring a 1995 Volvo, and a week’s stay in a Hawaiian condo.

Tickets are available at The Book Seller, 107 Mill Street, Grass Valley. You can also donate directly to the Douros Family Support Fund at any of the five Citizen’s Bank branches in Nevada County.

Melinda Douros said she and the children have been astounded at how many people have come forward so far to help them.

“It’s incredible and amazing,” Mrs. Douros said. “The outpouring of support we wouldn’t have anticipated.”

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To contact senior staff writer Dave Moller, e-mail davem@the union.com or call 477-4237.

There are two ways to help the Douros family meet Lou’s medical bills:

• Donate directly to the Douros Family Support Fund at any of the five Citizen’s Bank branches in Nevada County.

• Attend a lasagna dinner fundraiser from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the St. Canice Center on Reward Street in Nevada City. There will be live music and a silent auction. Tickets are available at The Book Seller, 107 Mill Street, Grass Valley.


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