Posted: Dec 11, 2012 4:29 PM by Shannon Davis
Updated: Dec 11, 2012 4:40 PM
BUTTE - Leo McCarthy recently returned to Butte following the CNN Heroes All-Star tribute.
Today, he made an appearance at the Kiwanis Club luncheon to talk about Mariah's Challenge.
"Mariah's Challenge is Butte. It's Butte's gift to the state, and the state's gift to the United States, because if we save one youth we save a generation," McCarthy said.
McCarthy says the stage was crowded at the all-star tribute in Los Angeles when he accepted the CNN Heroes award. He says he could imagine all of Butte on the stage with him.
CNN honored McCarthy for founding Mariah's Challenge after losing his daughter when a drunk driver hit her in 2007.
The Mariah's Challenge Foundation has awarded 150 scholarships to students who say no to drugs, alcohol and drinking and driving.
McCarthy shared a powerful message with the group of Kiwanis members who were gathered this afternoon. He played a voice message recorded by his daughter before he died.
"Please leave me a message I'll get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks. Bye," the girl's voice is heard saying.
"That's what Mariah's Challenge is to me. That you never, ever have to listen to try to remember what your daughter's voice sounded like," her father said.
McCarthy was awarded $50,000 for being one of the top 10 CNN Heroes, money that he will put toward scholarships for Mariah's Challenge.