Public invited to take part in MAPS Great Speaker Event
Youth speaker Brad Hurtig to present at Middle and High Schools on October 18
MERRILL, Wis. — The Merrill Area Public Schools (MAPS) will welcome popular youth speaker Brad Hurtig to the District Oct. 18, and local community members are invited to attend.
The event is part of the Merrill Great Speaker Forum, a 42-year-old program that brings in high-quality speakers to present to MAPS middle school and high school students on a yearly basis.
The Great Speaker Forum Committee consists of community members, School District personnel and students. The last time the Committee met, the following students participated on the committee: Evelyn Blennert, Dawson Dengel, Ben Freyer, Emily Hanson, Ahna Meyer, Logan Seeger and Josh Watzka. The students researched potential speakers and ultimately made the decision based on the relevancy of the message the speaker brings to the students. Students serve on the committee beginning in sixth grade and remain active through their Senior year. Community members serving on the Committee are Renea Frederick, Lynne Reindl, Sarah Sturm and Jay Tlusty.
Brad was originally set to speak to students in the Spring of 2020, but had to be rescheduled due to COVID safety measures. “We are pleased to welcome Brad as this year’s Great Speaker Forum presenter,” said Dr. John Sample, Superintendent of MAPS. “We encourage members of the community to attend and witness the value our outstanding guest speakers bring to our students.”
Brad Hurtig was a student-athlete in a small town in Northwest Ohio. Only days after finishing his Sophomore year of high school, a devastating accident resulted in the amputation of both of Brad’s hands. Through hard work and determination, Brad soon rejoined his high school football team. In his senior year, Brad led his team defense, recording 111 tackles and received all-state honors all while playing with no hands. Brad’s inspirational story of triumph quickly captured national headlines. (Source – bradhurtig.com)
Since 1978, the Merrill Great Speaker Forum has attracted numerous engaging speakers to the School District, focusing on subjects like self-esteem, self-worth, dignity of person, pride in self, goals and achievement, patriotism, and coping with societal problems like drug abuse and teen pregnancy. The series is completely funded by donations from throughout the Merrill business community, with individual contributions, ranging from $25 to $1,000.
The last time the Committee did fundraising, the following individuals and businesses donated funds to pay for this year’s speaker: CoVantage Credit Union, $250.00; Ron & Kay Nicklaus, $200.00; Gerald & Charmaine Whitburn, $100.00; Don & Judy Evans, $100.00; Kiwanis Club of Greater Merrill, $100.00; Merrill Teachers Association, $100.00; Reindl Printing, $100.00; Weinbrenner Shoe Company, $100.00; Park City Credit Union, $100.00; Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 584, $100.00; Gress Chiropractic Clinic, $100.00; Schmitt Manecke Donner Auxiliary Post #1638, $50.00; Ladies Auxiliary #584, $50.00; Riverside Athletic Club, $25.00; Dr. Ronald Piffl, $25.00; Jay & Maxine Tlusty, $25.00; Gleason Area Lions Club, Inc., $25.00; Oakpark Dental, $25.00; Hugo’s Pizza, $25.00; and, Center Attractions, $25.00.
“We continue to appreciate the support the Great Speaker Forum has received from local businesses and members of the community,” said Dr. Sample. “Our partnership with the community is vital, and we thank you for supporting our students!”
This year’s Great Speaker Forum will take place Monday, Oct. 18, in the Prairie River Middle School at 9:00 a.m. and then at the Merrill High School Fieldhouse at 1:00 p.m.