Back in 2015, the internet was delighted to see that Chris Evans and Chris Pratt had made a Super Bowl bet based in charity, wherein Evans would visit a children’s hospital in Seattle with Pratt if the Seahawks were to win, and Pratt would do the same in Boston if the Patriots were victorious.
Why delight the internet once when you can do it twice?
A fan of both the Seahawks and Star-Lord (a character played by Pratt), and knowing that Dustin was a fan of Captain America (portrayed by Evans), Earl reached out to Dustin in order to make a similar bet. Dustin knows literally nothing about football, but enthusiastically agreed anyway. It seemed especially fitting since the two had originally become friends through participating in charity events together.
The stakes were set, and the bet was made. Just like their celebrity inspiration, Dustin and Earl knew that they’d be doing both of their charitable ideas, regardless of which team happened to win the game that year. Earl borrowed Dustin’s Captain America suit, and with many thanks to their friend Shamika for setting it up, they were able to visit the children at Walter Reed and deliver some gifts to them along the way.
The very next morning, the inaugural ruck march began. The event was a rousing success, beyond the dreams anyone could have held when they’d first arrived that day. By the end of the event, lives had been changed, burdens had been lifted, and the mission of the founders had evolved.
The beginning of Dedicated Endeavors.
After hearing the experiences of so many attendees as they shared their struggles with mental adversity, the team agreed that it was time to branch out away from being an event for post-traumatic stress for veterans and first responders. That was too limiting, and there are too many people of all backgrounds that need help.
With that in mind, the mission shifted to one of service for all those living with mental and emotional hardship, but also for friends and allies so that they can come learn how to be a more compassionate and understanding support system for those they love.
What had started as a single event eventually evolved into an annual event, and then into a 501c3 nonprofit organization with bigger plans for how they might better serve the mental health community.