Those three questions were at the center of a tremendous message delivered by John O’Leary to employees and friends of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation on Monday, July 11, 2022.
John’s appearance in the Burning Hills Amphitheatre was a gift to TRMF from two generous supporters of our organization — and a great many of our full-time and seasonal workforce were in attendance to hear what he had to say!
John O’Leary’s story is remarkable: when he was nine years old, he was burned on 100 percent of his body in an accidental explosion. Doctors gave him a 1 percent chance to survive. He overcame the odds — and today, he’s a bestselling author and motivational speaker who has presented in 49 states and 17 countries.
John shared with the audience in Medora that those three questions — Why me? Who cares? What more can I do? — can be framed in a negative or a positive way. He encouraged those listening to be victors instead of victims, and to live with gratitude and inspiration.
During the peak of Medora’s busy season, it was a great message for the hundreds of hard-working folks who make our TRMF mission possible! We’re grateful to have been given the gift of John O’Leary’s story.
Each day at the Medora Musical we strive to honor the men and women who have served our country. But July 10, 2022 was extra special in Medora!
Thanks to generous donors who have supported our Veterans Endowment, this year’s Veterans and Military Appreciation Day in Medora was bigger and more special than ever before.
This year we were able to:
Welcome 362 veterans, active duty, and reservist military members to the Medora Musicalat no cost
Honor veterans with a speech by Vice Admiral David Architzel, the retired commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt
Dazzle the audience with a flyover by a historic Beechcraft T-32 Mentor aircraft
Welcome the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion Color Guard from Mandan, ND to present colors before the Medora Musical
Host a special Q&A panel discussion with four distinguished veterans in the afternoon
We invite you to re-live the day by scrolling through our slideshow of images below!
We also want to extend an invite to you to support the Veterans Appreciation Day Endowment fund. It’s thanks to that growing fund that we were able to say ‘thank you’ to our nation’s heroes — and the more the fund grows, the more ways we’ll be able to extend our gratitude!
Learn more about the Veterans Endowment here. And follow this link if you’d like to chip in now!
(MEDORA, ND) The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation (TRMF) recently celebrated two major milestones: ribbons were cut at the newly completed Point to Point Park and at historic Schafer Point in Medora.
Point to Point Park is designed to be a hub of family-friendly activities in downtown Medora. It features a mini golf course, a zipline, and a system of hiking trails—and new this year, includes a swimming pool and lazy river, jump pillow, pickleball courts, and more.
The ribbon at Point to Point Park was cut by JoAnn Butler, who along with her late husband Matt made a $2 million lead gift to establish the $8 million project. The couple’s daughter, Twylah Blostky, spoke on behalf of the Matt & JoAnn Butler Family Foundation.
“When families gather, the stories always come out, and they usually start out with, ‘Do you remember that time when…'” Blotsky said. “All of us are here to give you the gift of memories—for you, your children, and your grandchildren—so that going forward, your new stories can begin with: ‘Do you remember that time when we were in Medora and…'”
The Butler family was joined by several other major philanthropic contributors to the project to help christen the park on Saturday, June 11, 2022. See the list of projects and their primary donors below:
Lead Gift: The Matt & JoAnn Butler Family
Family Pool: Great River Energy
Pool House: Marlene Hoffart & Family
Lazy River: Dick & Darlyne Anderson, George Pasternak
Little Bully Pulpit Mini Golf Course: Mike & Peggy Bullinger Family
Boat Thieves: Chris & Trina Smaaladen
Point to Point Trails: Linda & Lizzy Pancratz
Splash Pad: Dickinson Ready Mix
Shade Pavilion: Van & Dee Larson
Schafer Point: Jim & Joanne Kack
Mini Zipline: Tom & Frances Leach Foundation
Pickleball: Brad & Deb Wimmer
Zipline: James & Cynthia Jorgensen, Todd & Shirley Porter Family, Arthur & Edith Pearson Foundation, Mike & Shelley Rowe
Jump Pillow: 1st International Bank & Trust, Steve & Gretchen Stenehjem
Schafer Point is a historically significant destination along Point to Point Trails, which lead hikers to the top of the butte that overlooks Medora to the north. It is here that Ed Schafer recalls standing as a young boy with his father Harold, who would go on to revitalize the town below.
The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation constructed a log pavilion at this location, thanks to the generosity of Jim & Joanne Kack. The ribbon was cut by Ed and Nancy Schafer on Saturday, June 11, 2022.
“What’s really cool is that there are members of the public here along with the Schafer family,” said Randy Hatzenbuhler, the President of TRMF. “That’s the whole point of this place: we want people to enjoy a hike in the Badlands. I’m grateful that we get to enjoy places like this together.”
If you caught Studio 701 on Wednesday morning this week on CBS in western North Dakota, you were treated to a whole lot of Medora! As you can see, they had a whole lot of fun:
We were happy to host the 701 crew in town for a day, and they got to hear from Burning Hills Singers, great in-town performers like Emily Walter, Tom Brosseau, and Max from Wild & The Animal Band, and even share a message from President Roosevelt himself.
Here’s a round-up of all the fun segments they shared this week!
The rugged North Dakota badlands complement the laid-back charm of tiny Medora for a getaway that promises awe-inspiring views, comfortable accommodations, cowboy eats and even a musical revue.
By Alicia Underlee Nelson
Near the Montana border, you’ll find plenty to explore in Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Medora, the town that sits at the entrance to the park’s South Unit. Here’s our guide for a long weekend getaway.
The Bull Moose Mudrun ran over, under, and through the North Dakota Badlands on Saturday, June 9, 2018.
Competitors and fun runners of all shapes, sizes, and ages gave their best BULLY spirit on a 5k obstacle course like no other.
Theodore Roosevelt himself enjoyed the competition and encouraged the runners at the start of the race.
And then they were off with the endurance and competitive heats out first. (That means they set out to complete the course quickly and do as many laps as possible in the 3-hour period.)
The first obstacle was crossing the Little Missouri River and the second obstacle was where they got their first look at the Medora Badlands Mud. Where most had the choice of taking the high road or going straight through the muddy water – the majority took the mud head on. See what we mean in this video:
You will probably notice you couldn’t keep the runners from smiling. If they weren’t having fun, you wouldn’t have known! This next video comes at you from the highest point in the Bull Moose MudRun Course. Check it out:
And if you like what you see, consider becoming a member of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation (TRMF). Perks of joining TRMF include free Medora Musical tickets, free Bully Pulpit Golf Course passes, and our quarterly Rough Riders Review.