Tomah's Mike Murray this month's Jefferson Award Winner - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Tomah's Mike Murray this month's Jefferson Award Winner

Posted: Updated:
Tomah, WI (WXOW) -

Mike Murray says he figured out why many of us aren't happy.  Not feeling fulfilled-those aren't situations as much as they are habits. 

It might seem like Murray has always had the answers but the Jefferson Award recipient says not at all.

"When I was younger and I was going through some troubling times in my life, I use to find solace in going to the middle school, turning down the radio and shooting hoops for two to three hours to escape reality," said Murray.

Murray is the youngest of ten kids and raised by two loving parents.  He says his childhood was a happy one except something just didn't feel right.

Today, the Tomah native can proudly say he returned the favor providing the same respite for kids needed an outlet. Murray raised money to build courts for others to enjoy.

"I battled depression and anxiety since I was a teenager. Giving back, being a volunteer, being involved in something bigger than me shows me that there is a purpose and a reason for each and every one of us being here," said Murray. 

Murray conveys that message to students at Tomah High School enrolled in the Jobs for America's Graduates, or JAG, a program helping teens stay in school and plan for their future.

"I had one girl and you know she was blunt She said 'You know when you first came into our class, I thought you were another adult that was gonna be full of crap and feed us all sorts of lines of telling us how we should live our lives', but she said, 'It didn't take me long to figure out that you're real'," said Murray.

"The way we interact with people, the amount of time we give out, it's gonna come back to us in some form. It doesn't have to be a four hour commitment. Twenty minutes here, twenty minutes there.. Go to a nursing home and say hi to someone.  It isn't about what I have to give, it's about what other people need," said Murray.

Powered by Frankly