An inspiring message of hope kicked off Augie’s Adventures

By Chuck Gibson  

LOVELAND, OH (November 15, 2022) – In a room filled with people too often referred to as disabled, everyone in attendance felt enabled.

Mark Hublar delivering his inspiring “Can Do” message of hope during kick off celebration for Augie’s Adventures Thursday, October 27, 2022 (Chuck Gibson)

On Thursday, October 27, Mark Hublar delivered an inspiring speech to nearly 50 people with a variety of disabilities during the kick off celebration of Augie’s Adventures. Two things you need to know before reading on: First, Mark Hublar was born with Down syndrome in 1964. Second, Augie’s Adventures is a Loveland-based non-profit organization established to provide a monthly support group for families with minor – and grown – children with all kinds of diagnosed disabilities.  This was the inaugural monthly meeting for those disabled, their families, educators and therapists who serve them. Hublar, now 58 years old, was the featured speaker.

Heidi Terselic is co-founder of Augie’s Adventures with her husband Mike Terselic. They are the parents of 16 year old Augie, who was born with Down syndrome, attends Loveland High School and is the namesake for Augie’s Adventures. 

With the help of many dedicated volunteers, including  their daughters Vivien, Ella and Millie, Heidi and Mike organized this grass-roots effort to provide not only support for families like their own, but to provide recreational and social activities for the families beyond home, school and into adulthood.

“Mark is powerful,” said Heidi Terselic. “He has confidence. He loves people and he truly wants to make a difference.”

There is no doubt Mark Hublar is powerful, confident and has a strong desire to make a difference. His story is powerful on its own. Born in 1964 when doctors said Mark would not be able to learn, function like other kids, hold a job, or live independently. His parents chose to ignore the recommendation to place their son in an institution and forget about him. At 58 years old, Mark Hublar works, lives independently and has his own public speaking business. Oh, and let there be no question Mark Hublar loves people, and people love him too. That was evident throughout his presentation as he never stopped smiling, and making all listening smile along with him.

“You are my best friend. And I am your friend too.” – Mark Hublar, Motivational Speaker born with Down syndrome

Mark Hublar with his friend Augie Terselic, for whom Augie’s Adventures was named. (Chuck Gibson)

Hublar used a Power Point presentation to talk about his own accomplishments and the expectations his own parents set for him. They were not empty words. He showed photos of himself as an active young boy doing many different things. Many of the things he did then and does now are the very things doctors said he would not ever do. He went to school, he learned and he was active in a variety of sports winning a lot of trophies and medals which he proudly displayed. It was not a boastful display, but rather his way of showing all of focusing our attention on what people of all abilities, and disabilities CAN DO. That was his message aligning perfectly with the mission of Augie’s Adventures to provide activities these families CAN DO, not what they can’t do. It was a message of hope for Lara and Charles Ferrer, parents of Charlie Ferrer who is Autistic.

“There were so many things so incredibly touching,” said Lara, “especially Mark’s confidence, his organization, his demeanor, his presentation. It was astounding. It gives us hope for Charlie and for all the children he goes to school with.”

Lara sees the hurdles Charlie overcomes on a daily basis and appreciated the examples Mark presented of the hurdles he has overcome “paving the way for success for so many other children with developmental disabilities”.

“He’s a voice that can be heard all around the country and teach so many of us,” Lara said. “He outlined it so perfectly; government officials, teachers, communities, and churches. Eyes are wide open.”

Heidi Terselic, co-founder and President of Augie’s adventures during the kick off celebration Thursday, October 27, 2022 (Chuck Gibson)

Terselic echoed those words pointing to the importance of his accomplishments, the things Mark Hublar does. He does not just talk about what he believes; his desire for everyone to be seen and heard, for everyone to be shown respect, to be given opportunity, and to be included. Hublar specifically emphasized the point.

“R O I,” Mark said pointing to the letters illuminated on the screen during his presentation. “Respect, Opportunity and Inclusion! We are all alike. I am like you. You are like me.”

He believes it and he lives it.

“Mark wants to change laws,” Terselic said. “He really does do the things he says he believes in. He has strong conviction. He is a hero for this group of people who sometimes literally have no voice.”

Again, this was not someone with disability being stood up in front of a group looking for sympathy or some special treatment. No, Mark Hublar stood on his own two feet and with great speaking ability, confidence and kindness delivered a most powerful message of hope for all. He has spoken to lawmakers in Washington D.C. asking for Respect, Opportunity and Inclusion for everyone. He does it not by showing what he can’t do, but by showing exactly what we all CAN DO.

Mark Hublar spends time with his new friend Chris Hill following his speech at the kick off of Augie’s Adventures Thursday, October 27, 2022 (Chuck Gibson)

“What stood out for me was his genuine kindness,” said Charles Ferrer. “It is clear when he speaks that his heart is completely in and behind what he is talking about. He put out really good examples of the kindness he exudes and receives back.”

Augie’s Adventures organizers and volunteers were pleased with a “great turnout” and Heidi Terselic expressed sincere gratitude that “word is getting out about Augie’s Adventures. The kick off celebration was well served by the inspiring message delivered by Mark Hublar. His smile was captivating; his accomplishments truly awesome leaving the audience in awe, not that he did it as a disabled person, but as someone just like you and me.

“What he does is incredible,” Terselic said. “It will continue to be a legacy for him for all the change he’s making; for the impact on laws he goes to speak about. I can’t say enough about him. He’s amazing.”

Mark Hublar said it best: “We are all alike, no matter what our abilities are. I am like you and you are like me. If I can do it, you can do it.”

Mark Hublar stayed after his speech to sell and sign his book “A Miracle Named Mark” (Chuck Gibson)

Hublar has done it, gone to school, graduated from college, active and successful in athletics, drives a car, works and owns his own motivational speaking business. The crowd of nearly 50 people who listened to him speak at the kick off celebration for Augie’s Adventures saw and heard someone who sets no limitations, but rather sets and meets high expectations. The people stayed to meet him and buy his book “A Miracle Named Mark”.

“I was thrilled to see everyone from educators and therapists to parents of grown children, all the grade school and high school kids,” said Terselic. “It proves there is a huge need for this connection among all families, that the social life beyond high school and the 22 year old cutoff must not remain a void in our society. We have to fill that void with meaningful experiences.”

Visit Augie’s Adventures on line for all the latest information at: www.augiesadventures1242.org

  • Augie’s Adventures next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, November 17, 2022.
  • It will be held in the Parish Hall of St. Columban Church beginning at 6:30 p.m.
  • St. Columban is located at 894 Oakland Rd. Loveland, OH 45140

Learn more about Mark Hublar at: www.markjhublarspeaks.com