The Van Wert County Courthouse

Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022

Brubaker 2016 R.K. Thompson speaker

VW independent/submitted information

The R.K. Thompson family and Van Wert Service Club announce that local resident Bob Brubaker will be the speaker for this year’s R.K. Thompson Self-Reliance Awards banquet.

It was in June 2005 that Brubaker was on a weeklong bicycle trip with his family when he suffered a massive stroke. Brubaker was forced to learn, through extensive rehab, how to eat and walk again.

Bob and Susan Brubaker
Bob and Susan Brubaker

As he was recovering from the stroke, the local resident was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2012; in 2013, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and, in 2014, was diagnosed again with bladder cancer. Through all of life’s trials, Brubaker and his wife Susan held onto a lifelong dream of riding their bicycles across the United States: from the West Coast to the East Coast. So last summer, 10 years post-stroke, with the use of a recumbent trike, the Brubakers completed the first 1,000 miles of their journey — riding through Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. The next leg of their journey will begin in the Grand Tetons of Wyoming.

Brubaker is an inspiration to others and currently speaks publicly about overcoming obstacles when they present themselves in people’s lives, and how self-reliance and faith in God has helped him every step the way. This year’s awards banquet will be held Tuesday, April 19.

The R.K. Thompson Self-Reliance Award Program was initiated 46 years ago by R.K. Thompson Jr., in honor of his father the late R.K. Thompson Sr. Both men worked closely with young people and encouraged them to set high, but attainable goals and then apply themselves to obtain those goals.

The program provides cash awards for high school seniors in Van Wert County who best exhibit that character trait. The Self-Reliance Award is designed to seek out and honor high school seniors who “do the best with what they have,” whether they are scholars, athletes, student leaders, or must work to help their family meet expenses.

The R.K. Thompson Self-Reliance Award is sponsored by the Thompson Family Trust, through the Van Wert County Foundation, and administered by the Van Wert Service Club.

POSTED: 03/31/16 at 7:21 am. FILED UNDER: News