I must say that when I first heard there was a costume of me, I hesitated to even look. No way it could be a good thing, right? There must be something ripe for poking fun at, or maybe I was turned into a zombie ‘walker’? OK, that might be interesting. Just writing about this topic I subject myself to scrutiny and the cliche of a broadcaster’s ego. But I feel compelled to share these costumes because they truly speak to good spirit, imagination, and has me gushing with pride. What really matters is the ultimate message that is resonating.
There is much more than a weather connection here, so I hope you take a moment to read on and share with your kids. It’s STEM. It’s charity. It’s social media. It’s community involvement. It’s having fun with loving what you do. I promise: If you do what you enjoy and equally give back with the same passion in your heart, then you will accomplish many things in life. The best reward I have received is what you will see below.
Trek Across Maryland: Brody Fitzroy
This brought tears to my eyes. Brody’s mom Kim sent me this photo with this message:
“Our son Brody had to choose a community figure to dress up as for Community Helper Day at school–guess who he chose? Apparently you’re visiting his school later this year–he’s very excited to meet you!”
One of my proudest achievements in my adult life is not related to being on TV or any award I’ve won. In fact, a step beyond my school assembly program Wind For Change, in 2014 I decided to Trek 326 miles across Maryland to raise money for Cool Kid Campaign. It was the culmination of this large social media audience, my charity work, and highlighting a reminder to my own childhood illness I beat. My first year I went solo from the summit of Wisp to the Inlet of Ocean City with a combination of hiking a marathon plus biking more each day. This past summer I was joined by a team of amazing people. Combined, we raised about $50,000 for Cool Kids Campaign and kids who are fighting cancer.
My week long treks did not produce traffic busting online articles. Some thought it was like the Jerry Lewis telethon, broadcasted while when many were out doing something else. Well, my message got across. Reaching one kid (beside my own boys) like this justifies the blood, sweat, and tears that went into the trek. It was one of the hardest things I’ve done, but something I must do again.
Brody- Thank you! I can’t wait to meet you too! Maybe we can both wear our trek outfits and get a pic together then. Here was one of the top moments this past year when I met Governor Hogan while passing through Annapolis. You nailed the uniform minus the sweat and grime, and your mom can be thankful for that. I will be sharing this with the governor. He will certainly be proud too.
Meteorologist On TV And Social Media: Marley Rudolph
This smile is contagious but the costume is a little more complex. It was explained best in this message I got from Marley’s dad John:
“You visited Marley’s school last year (Manchester Elementary in Carroll County). Every since then she has been obsessed with the weather and has been encouraged by her STEM teachers as well. She asked me to download your kid weather app as well. It doesn’t hurt that I love the snow. This year she decided to be a weather announcer for Halloween. We googled some weather announcer pics to get some ideas, but didn’t really get much there. She said, “dad, we should turn on the weather channel.” So we watched that for a bit and it sparked some ideas for her. She wanted it to look like she was standing in front of a couple smart boards with weather maps and 7 day outlook. She has a Twitter feed to the right and a “bottom line”. Our oldest daughter suggested for her to carry a microphone with a weather channel logo on it which I know is old technology, lol, but it kind of set the costume off. We attached it to a backpack so it would look like she was standing in front and to the side; she can point back to it and give the weather. She is 8 years old and in 3rd grade. I hope this helps and thanks for noticing and encouraging students!”
Marley: This is great. My oldest son is in 4th grade and thinks this is cool too. See, you’re impressing adults and the older kids too. Way to go! Plus, your school was during our 5th year of Wind For Change assemblies for Cool Kids Campaign. We surpassed $100,000 raised. Combined with my treks, you were part of $150,000 raised for programs that benefit kids and their families fighting cancer.
A closer look at the weather maps. Love the snow forecast.
TV Meteorologist: Owen
This photo was tweeted from Erika Conn proud of this gem from Pine Grove ES. It was on Twitter, so a short message attached: “Love our college and career ready students”
Another microphone. It’s not old tech yet Mr. Rudolph 🙂
Thank you all! Sincerely. This has been the greatest gift and it’s not even close to my birthday. Now I only wonder… Why didn’t my own boys dress like me? Ha!
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