The Honorable Spring Break Award: Spreading Kindness, One City at a Time


April’s “Show Us Your Sue” trophy is extra exciting to Team Trophy Central because it is being rewarded to three high school students in Indiana, the home state of TV’s fictional Sue Heck, the inspiration behind our Random Acts of Trophy-ness campaign to reward everyday heroes who make the world a better place.

Sue Heck, from the sitcom The Middle, was the high school student who tried out for every team, every sport, every talent show, but who never got picked.  (Except for her saving-grace athletic endeavor, the No-Cuts Cross Country team, where everybody who tried out made it, which was giddiness personified for happy-dancing Sue Heck!)

Sue Heck award Trophy Central

Team Trophy Central fell in love with Sue Heck’s passionate persistence.  No matter how many times she tried something and failed, she never, EVER gave up.  When she didn’t make it as a cheerleader, she started her own cheering squad, The Wrestlerettes, a team of dance-like-no-one’s-watching misfits who cheered on the high school wrestling team (because no one else did) with unbeatable fervor and quirkiness.

Sue Heck epitomizes the idea that failure is not the end, only a stepping stone to a greater accomplishment.  Her enthusiasm is infectious, her make-lemons-out-of-lemonade attitude awe-inspiring.

When Team Trophy Central set out to deliver a monthly trophy to someone who is making the world a better place by being him/herself, we couldn’t think of a better mascot than Indiana native Sue Heck.

Planned Random Acts of Kindness

We hope you can feel our excitement as we announce our latest Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” winners from Sue Heck’s neck of the woods: Whitko High School seniors Charlie French, Lizz Foutz and Sam Rickerd, who we are celebrating with the Honorable Spring Break Award for spreading kindness, one city at a time.

Whitko students Random Acts of Kindness trip

Sam Rickerd, Charlie French, Brandy Smith and daughter Amira, and Lizz Foutz on the far right, standing in front of the Badlands in South Dakota. The group, as part of Whitko’s National Honor Society, made the trip on a Random Acts of Kindness mission.

This is really cool: Charlie, Lizz and Sam, all National Honor Society Students, spent their spring break visiting eight different states in nine days for what they called their “Planned Random Acts of Kindness Road Trip”.  Along with teacher Brandy Smith, their National Honor Society sponsor, they accumulated 2,000 miles’ worth of good deeds.

In Rochester, Minnesota, the students visited the Ronald McDonald House at the Mayo Clinic, where they handed out pillowcases they had decorated to uplift patients.

In Sioux Falls, South Dakota, they cleaned up the YMCA, which flooded one week before their arrival.  Senior Lizz Foutz says “They had just been devastated with a flood and it was really nice to know that we could help them out in a big way. They were so grateful to have us there.”

Charlie French, Lizz Foutz and Sam Rickerd

Road Trip Rewards

Sam Rickerd, Whitko High School’s Valedictorian, says “It was very impactful to see the horrible damage caused by a flood of that magnitude, but also to see the smiles on the faces of the camp directors as we gradually improved the conditions of the camp.”

Rickerd took the lead at a hospital gravesite in Minnesota, where immigrants to the US in the 1800s had been buried in makeshift graves (coffee and bean cans filled with cement in lieu of headstones).  The students cleaned up the grave site and had some deep discussions about how many of the graves remained unmarked, as though immigrants to the US didn’t even deserve names.  They talked about how much remained unchanged some 200 years later, when tensions on the politics of immigration remain high — and volatile.

Senior Charlie French says that their Planned Random Acts of Kindness Road Trip taught him “how to cooperate with other people who have different personalities,” adding: “I feel that this helped me grow as a person.”

Road Trip

Kindness Matters

Team Trophy Central would like to wholeheartedly thank Charlie, Lizz and Sam (as well a their mentor, Brandy Smith) for using their spring break to spread kindness and goodwill.  We hope that the Planned Random Acts of Kindness Road Trip becomes a yearly tradition at Whitko — and that other students at other schools copycat this heartwarming endeavor.

Congratulations, Charlie, Lizz and Sam!  We hope that your Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” trophy will remind you of the ever-expanding reach of kindness.

Now it’s your turn to… Show Us Your Sue!  In the comments section below (or on our Twitter or Facebook page, using the hashtag #ShowUsYourSue!) please nominate the next recipient of our Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” award.  Don’t hold back on telling us WHY your nominee is trophy-worthy.  The more gushing, the better!