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Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Worthy Gesture to Benefit the Turf Project

We're coming down the homestretch of fundraising for the Orrville Turf Project.  As of last night, just over $600,000 has been raised, with a goal of $750,000 still in reach.

Many Orrville alumni, citizens and businesses have given generously, above and beyond their normal giving to the Booster Club, to make what was once a dream a near reality.  The turf, combined with a new 8-lane track surface vaults Red Rider Stadium into the premier high school sports venue in the county, and very well the nicest small public school facility in Northeast Ohio.  It will be a showpiece that all of Red Rider Nation will be very proud of.

I don't want to minimize the collective endeavor of Red Rider fans for their tireless effort in giving generously and getting the word out by knocking on doors, making phone calls and sharing this project with their neighbors, but one recent gift really impressed me and I wanted to share it will my readers...because I think it will impress you just the same.

It didn't get much attention, but a few months ago, then Orrville senior Mason Monheim was named the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) 2012 Male Athlete of the Year for the entire state of Ohio.  It was the first time an Orrville athlete won the prestigious honor.  Along with the honor, Mason was awarded a $1,000 monetary gift.

A few days ago, I received a copy of this letter, addressed to the Red Rider Turf Committee....I encourage you all to take a few minutes to read this letter.

If that doesn't make you proud to be a Red Rider, I don't know what will.  What an selfless & encouraging gesture by Mason.  Nobody would have faulted an 18 year old to have spent that $1,000 on clothes or maybe a computer for college or just saved the money for himself.  It's probably what a lot of adults (myself included) would do if $1,000 suddenly fell into our lap.

Above all that, I think it's a great demonstration of 'Rider Pride' that obviously resides in Mason & his family, but also in all of us....and if his actions inspire one person to give to the project, or to maybe increase their giving by a few dollars, then it's a win-win.

As he mentioned in the letter, it's donations like these that help put a project of this magnitude over the top.

Again, we appreciate each and every single dollar that people have sacrificed for the benefit of the project, but it's unexpected donations like this that make you proud to be part of a special community and see that community send young people into the world with the "Made in Orrville" (I smell a t-shirt idea) label proudly stamped on them.

What has happened and is happenning to our school campus right now, and what is happenning at the stadium right now, should give you all the proof you need that we do indeed live in a special community.

If you feel compelled to give, please head over to and read about the ways you can contribute to this project.  Help us cross the goal line!

YouTube Football Video
Speaking of 'Rider Pride,' please take a look at this video that was created for the benefit of the Turf Project by Orrville alums Tommy Brenner and Victor Monheim.  It's main target is former football players, but it can apply to anyone.  The video is out for goosbumps.  Email subscribers will need to click here to view the video.

Feel free to share Mason's letter and also the YouTube video to anyone you feel would appreciate seeing it.  If you're an email subscriber, simply forward the email to someone...if you're a Facebook user, share the link with your friends...and if you're just a casual reader, copy the link at the top of the page and start and email chain to former classmates, co-workers, family & friends.

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