Thursday, April 26,
By Bill Buley
The Idaho Spokesman-Review
POST FALLS -- When Gary Dagastine returns home each day from his job as a Kootenai County Sheriff's deputy, he likes to relax.
So he heads out to the garage and starts working. In the cold. When he's tired. No matter what. He puts in his four hours each night. It is, as they say, a labor of love.
In February, Gary Dagastine began building a multiple sclerosis awareness parade float. It quickly grew to be more than 21 feet long and eight feet wide.
Within days of putting out the word of his plan, a 1986 Jeep Cherokee -- a stolen, totaled vehicle recovered by the Kootenai County's Sheriff's Department -- was delivered to his Post Falls home. After being stripped down to a floor pan, driver's seat, dashboard and running gear, it has become the float's power plant.
The goal is to use it in community events and holiday celebrations to promote awareness of multiple sclerosis and raise money to fight the disease.
The float's deck will feature two giant moving MS shoes, toes bursting the tips, designed and painted by Gary Dagastine. Next to the shoes will be the words, "Help stomp out MS."
Red, white and blue lights, an MS banner, and two posters depicting MS quilts, one that's done and another that's about to be started next week, will also be displayed on the float's deck.