Leo McCarthy is the founder of Mariah’s Challenge. He started the organization in the aftermath of the death of his 14-year-old daughter, Mariah.

On Oct. 28, 2007, McCarthy was killed by an underage drunk driver. She and two friends were run over from behind as they walked home on a walking trail.

As our devastated community turned its eyes to Leo in the days following the tragic death, Leo came through. He delivered a eulogy that somehow comforted a broken city. That eulogy also started Mariah’s Challenge, which has since given more than $400,000 in scholarships to high school graduates who live by the ideals of the great organization.

Friday marks the 15th anniversary of Mariah’s death. In this podcast, we talk about the tragedy, the eulogy and the difficult days, months and years that followed. We find out what is next for Mariah’s Challenge. 

We also talked about Leo, who was the youngest of 11 McCarthy children growing up on O’Neill Street in Walkerville. We learn about Leo’s football playing days (he says he wasn’t good) and his coaching days. We also learn about his journey that led him to becoming one of State Farm’s most respected insurance representatives.

Click here to listen in as we get to know a true Butte hero, Leo McCarthy.