Last weekend the Ronald McDonald House Charity of greater Portland hosted a two-day fundraiser in honor and celebration of their 25-year anniversary. Hosted by Oregon State University alum, former KINK FM news reporter, and most notably, Hollywood screenwriter (Finding Forrester, Miracle) Mike Rich—the event boasted some 250 guests and raised more than $170,000. And, as if Mike Rich wasn’t marquee value enough, he brought along with him four of the players from the 1980 Gold Medal Winning US Olympic Hockey Team, their story commonly referred to as "Miracle on Ice"—Jack O’Callahan, Dave Silk, Rob McClanahan, and Phil Verchota. The night kicked off with delicious hors d’oeuvres and drinks like bruschetta with fresh tomatoes and the ever-popular Stella Artois. Then came the gourmet buffet, filled with spicy shrimp dishes, fancy cheese platters, and perfectly seasoned chicken kabobs. While munching and awaiting the arrival of the hockey players, guests mingled and chatted with one another and many donated money by purchasing raffle tickets for upscale items that had been donated including the ever-popular iPhone.
Amidst the bustle of arriving guests I was lucky enough to sit down with the accomplished Mike Rich for a few moments and ask him about his involvement and experience with RMHC. Aside from his screenwriting accomplishments, Rich’s work and interests go even deeper, and two of the most important things to him are family and charity. Rich has been on the board of RMHC for the past three years and beyond that has been as active member of the organization for the past five. While he has always been actively involved in RMHC’s many charity and fund-raising events, he credits the volunteers with doing the toughest work and putting in the longest hours, finding that his inspiration comes from their strength.
Following our short chat and the eagerly anticipated arrival of four hockey legends, guests piled into the auditorium to hear these guys tell their historic and captivating experience as members of this legendary team. As led by Rich, the guys told their story from beginning to end as the audience viewed clips from the movie Miracle as well as from the documentary that was made in honor of this great team. From reminiscing to poking fun at one another, the witty banter and heroic stories seemed endless and it quickly became clear that these players and the magnitude of what they experienced together had created an incredibly strong bond. -Keri Miller