On Tuesday, Oct. 28, the seventh anniversary of the death of 14-year-old Mariah McCarthy, the Mariah’s Challenge organization is asking people to turn on their porch lights or light a candle in a show of remembrance and support.
Additionally, the organization asked people to pictures on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #LightUpMariah.
Mariah and two friends were walking home that night when they were struck by an underage drunk driver. Mariah was killed.
In the time that followed her death, the Mariah Daye McCarthy Scholarship Foundation, or Mariah’s Challenge, formed to fight underage drinking and driving under the influence in Butte. The nonprofit group is spearheaded by Mariah’s father, Leo McCarthy, and several people making up Mariah’s Challenge. He has spread the story and mission throughout Butte and across the country by presenting to schools and organizations, and with the help of national coverage from The Dr. Phil Show, People Magazine, and CNN Heroes.
The foundation has provided $236,000 in scholarships to Butte graduating seniors who accept and live out the ideals of the Mariah’s Challenge. When combined with other area schools that have adopted the program and provide their own scholarships, that total approaches a quarter of a million dollars.