Photo providedMike McCord,left, with teammates from the football team.
Photo provided

Mike McCord,left, with teammates from the football team.
There is a mark that defines all our lives - a tiny, inconspicuous dash between the day we are born and the day we die. Most of the time, it is the years on either end of the dash that grab our attention; but our life, our story, is told by the dash. In the life of Mike McCord, his span of 18 years was way too short by our thinking, and yet his dash represents a life lived to the fullest, a story punctuated with love and laughter and a life packed with passion and promise.

It is not often that you can talk with several people about one person and get consistently positive responses. Rarer still is to find a teenager who can touch the lives of his peers, as well as adults, in such a way as to leave an indelible impression on all of them. But Mike achieved all that by his vibrant and enthusiastic spirit and his uncompromising morals and integrity. He thirsted for life, throwing himself full force into every activity and event, grabbing hold of all possibilities and unwilling to let go of any opportunity.

His friends say that he was loyal, fun, adventurous, and perhaps the greatest compliment for someone so young - that he didn't conform to anyone around him. He stayed true to his character and values that were shaped by his strong, abiding faith in God. He delighted in people and the more the merrier! His friend, Thomas McComb, who played football with him, said that he was always pumped up and whether winning or losing, could be heard cheering and yelling for his team.

Adults say that he was solid, genuinely kind, bursting with confidence, and yet without an air of arrogance or pride. He had the exceptional gift of making everyone around him feel like they were the most important person. The atmosphere of a room would change with Mike's presence and be lit up by his sparkling smile. At the risk of sounding like a cliché, Mrs. Hunter, Northridge Middle School teacher, said that Mike was truly one of those people that you feel better for knowing. And Kathryn Schueren, Crawfordsville PEERS Coordinator, said that at the end of her life, she hopes that she made a positive impact on even half the people that Mike did - a most worthy praise.

In a paper written for Honors English one month before his death entitled "Desires After Death - My Own Eulogy" Mike said: "What I wish for someone to think about me when they look down on me is that yeah, I made a lot of mistakes. I wasn't perfect, or anywhere close; but I tried to be the best person that I could be. I stood up for what I believed was right, and I did the best for my family and the ones near to me that I could. I tried to be nice to everyone and that I was loved by the people near me. I hope I leave a positive impression on everyone I touch, and if I don't, just know I tried." Based on the footprints he left behind, Mike not only tried, but surpassed his own expectations by his extraordinary life and at the end of the 18 years he was given; his dash was full to overflowing.

In a loving tribute to his enthusiastic spirit and faith-filled character, the family of Mike McCord has established the Mike McCord Scholarship Fund through the Montgomery County Community Foundation. The fund will benefit students of Crawfordsville and North Montgomery high schools and because it is an endowed fund, it will continue to give year after year - a fitting honor for someone who gave so much to those around him. Donations can be made to this fund at any time by mailing a check to MCCF, Mike McCord Scholarship Fund, PO Box 334, Crawfordsville, IN 47933 or online at