Our Time For Heroism: Mariah’s Challenge & Ron Rubick Field.

Posted on September 29, 2012


“Show me a hero and I’ll show you a tragedy.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

One of the reasons I bike commute in a place not typically known as a bicycle-friendly town is to lead by example. I can’t say I’ve ever sought out the spotlight, I’ve simply done the best I could and done what I think is right. In being an example, it has been my hope others would take notice and hopefully follow suit. That has and has not always happened, but through it all, I rest assured that at the very least, I was doing right; doing what’s in my power to make the world better.

In the last few weeks or so, I’ve had a few opportunities to better the world. My hope is that, well, others take notice and follow suit.

Ron Rubick Field Memorial T-Shirt Design

Over a year ago, I went back to Wisconsin to see everyone and to attend the wedding of my high school friend. The trip and wedding was incredible and I saw a lot of people I hadn’t in many years. One of the most surprising people there was my old football coach, Pete Holm.

We caught up and reminisced, mostly recalling endless conditioning sessions and Coach’s finger relentlessly jabbing your chest right above the shoulder pads. Eventually, Coach Rubick came up.

One of the greatest, most humble man I’ve been around. Coach Rubick died while I was half a world away, in Korea. He lost a battle with cancer, passing the very same way he preached to each of his players; “do the best you can, and leave it at that.” Plain and simple, Coach Rubick never tried to be a role model, he simply was. He is the kind of person that you wish to become.

After sharing stories and laughs, I asked about the status of our old football field. Since Rubick’s death, Coach Holm was steadfast in his effort to honor Rubick by renaming Manitowoc’s Municipal Field to Ron Rubick Field and was tackling a second phase of his vision, developing a memorial gateway leading into the stadium. Naturally, I was on board and offered myself in any way I could.

Soon after, I received an email about a possible design for a t-shirt that would serve both as a fundraising project and awareness piece of the memorial project. I got to work.

One of the driving thoughts behind the memorial was to ‘introduce’ Coach Rubick to those young children that don’t know or remember his legacy both on and off the field. As I was one of those young kids going to games and image instantly popped into my mind: a father and son, hand in hand as they walk through the gates of Rubick Field. To me, this was an emotional investment; I saw myself in the design.

Last week, my mom came out to Montana to visit. When I returned from the grocery store, the t-shirt was spread out on my dining room table.

The crew is slowly assembling ways to get these shirts through events like the Rubick Run, starting their own Facebook page, and creating a website to purchase paver bricks online.

A fail-safe method is to contact Coach Holm through email: coachplh@sbcglobal.net

Though t-shirts may not bring in all it takes to honor the life a legend, it is one way to help. If their is anything that Rubick, Holm, and the other coaches have taught us, that the power of being a part of Lincoln Ships Football Program will be with us forever.

“Coach Rubick cared more about grades and character than he did about football ability. He always demanded the very best from us as both a player and as a person.”

-Former player and Green Bay Packer, Don Davey

Vote Leo McCarthy for CNN Hero of the Year!

For those of you unfamiliar with Mariah’s Challenge, I encourage you to head over to their website and learn about the incredible things the group has done in the last 5 years.

The group came into being as a result of an underage drunk driver hitting a group of 14 year-old girls walking home one 2007 night; 1 of the 3, Mariah, died. In the midst of emotions that I and so many others can’t even comprehend, Mariah’s father, Leo issued a challenge to the city and youth of Butte to stop it. Stop the acceptance of this behavior, Stop underage drinking, Stop perpetuating a culture of apathy. Leo, at his daughters eulogy, said that if the youth of Butte make it through high school with a clean record, there will be scholarship money for you. The challenge has evolved into a full fledged 501(c)3 with a scholarship application process, and submission of an essay. Since it’s inception, over 4,000 people have “Accepted Mariah’s Challenge,” and the foundation has given away nearly $150,000 college scholarships. More importantly, this has provided a reason for youth to stand up and be strong in the face of a cultural pressures; it has given the youth a tool to make good decisions for themselves and those around them.

This past spring I provided some footage of the scholarship awards banquet to CNN, which caught word of this movement. I soon found out that Leo was nominated, selected, and honored as one of CNN’s Heroes of the year. The videos ran nationwide and there was a sense that Mariah’s wings were spreading.

Well, there is a chance to spread the wings even farther.

Recently, Leo was selected as a CNN Top 10 hero. This opens the door for Mariah’s Challenge to win a possible $250,000 purse that would go directly to the scholarships and mission of Mariah’s Challenge. Can you imagine the impact? Can you imagine the outcome?

CNN allows 10 votes per day, per email address. I, for one, am in the 30 votes a day club, and I’ve found it takes a mere 3 minutes of my day to invest in positive change for my town, the kids that I’ve grown to know so well, and for my world. That’s an investment I’m willing to make ten times over.

Please, if you have the time, I would invite and encourage everyone that reads these words to commit to those 3 minutes and commit to changing our world for the better. Stop these senseless tragedies that killed Mariah and start living well… living great! Your support, where ever you are, is appreciated and we will honor it the best we can.

Cast your votes here > > www.cnnheroes.com

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