Friday, December 21, 2012

Rauterkus Letter, mailed on December 20, 2012


As we reviewed the highlights we wanted to share over the past year, we realized that we have been blessed with a year full of first world "problems" and we thought we'd share some of them.

Which gelato flavor should Grant choose? Should Catherine have a cappuccino or latte? These questions came up daily as Catherine and Grant toured Northern Italy in June, 2012.

What water polo team should Grant play with for the Junior Olympics? Grant stayed with a very generous family in Princeton, New Jersey, while he trained with the Princeton club team to get ready for the JO competition at Stanford, CA, in July. Erik's God parents hosted him while he was in California!

Would Erik prefer the garnet colored sweatshirt or the white with garnet trim?  A decision that became important after receiving early acceptance to Swarthmore College!

What do you do when Grant becomes a freshman in HS and wants to play on the golf team but there is no coach? Dad steps up and becomes the golf coach and big brother joins the team. Grant was 4th in the city championships (after 3 seniors). So, Dad is "Obama's new golf coach." (Keep in mind that "Obama" is the name of the school!)

Which dress shirt should Erik wear for his acceptance speech as Youth Governor of Pennsylvania? Erik was elected by Youth and Government (YAG) students from around the state to be their Governor.  He traveled to North Carolina for the Conference on National Affairs and spent a week in Washington, DC at the governors' conference. He has spoken to groups throughout PA and was met with a standing ovation at a talk to YMCA CEOs.

Will Grant be on the A or B Northwest Zone Olympic Development Team?  It was the A Team so the whole family had a great vacation visiting family and friends in Florida.

Should you eat another delicious meal at the Loveless CafĂ© or play a round of golf? common question when Erik and Grant make their yearly Nashville visit to Uncle Bob and Aunt Molly.

Is it possible to make every city youth water safe? Mark's reach stretches beyond first world problems as he provides aquatic opportunities to the youth of the city.  What do you do when kids can't be on the swim team because they have no way to get home – you drive them home yourself. What do you do when you are organizing a trip to a water polo tournament and a kid can't tell you where to pick them up in the morning because they don't know where they will be spending the night – you have them spend the night at your house. What do you do when kids show up to play water polo not owning swim suits or towels – you make sure you have extras of both.

We hope to embrace more first world problems this year and to reach out to others who are facing real problems.   

Happy Holidays 2012    

Mark, Catherine, Erik, Grant

108 S. 12th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203

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