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'Boston Rob' Goes Rural
COMINS, Mich., Nov. 22, 2005
Rob Mariano as viewers first knew him, on "Survivor: Marquesas" (CBS)
(CBS) You know him as "Boston Rob," one of primetime's most memorable wheeler-dealers. Rob Mariano is well-known for his negotiating skills.
Now, the two-time runner-up on "Survivor: All Stars" and "The Amazing Race" (and the husband of "All Stars" winner Amber Bkrich) has joined The Early Show as "Rob to the Rescue," a series in which the former reality star will help our viewers deal with real-life problems. His first assignment: Help a horse lover in Michigan mend some fences.
Sharon Rogala writes: "Dear Rob: My daughter, Kim, needs rescuing. She adopts horses and dogs, often saving them from the meat buyers or being abused. She tries to adopt out these animals when she can, but with the economy as it is, adoption is rare. It takes most of her income to feed them it leaves nothing left for repairs. Her heart is big and she has so much love for these animals. Can you help?"
The daughter, Kim Wainwright, says, "Since I was a little girl, I always loved horses and wanted one. We now have 17 horses here, and I would say 10 of them are retirement-rescue residents … The other paddocks, they're not always pretty, but they will function in some form or manner."
So Rob traveled to northern Michigan — "the rural part," he explains, "where the pavement ends and the dirt road begins, so to speak… It should be a fun afternoon."
When Rob met Kim, one of the first things they did was to inspect the fences, which looked like "a bunch of old crates" to Rob.
"They are pallets," Kim says. "Shipping pallets. Twine stuck together with them."
"Sometimes when the going gets tough, people give up," Rob says. "But I can tell that you're the type of woman …"
"I never gave up on anything," Kim interjects. "No."
"Obviously," Rob says. "This fence shows that. So let's see if we can build you a new fence, and we'll start there and see where that takes us."
The local support for this project was key. The fencing arrived from Michigan's Standish Mill and a group of local Mennonite farmers volunteered to put it up. Getting the first pole in was probably the hardest part. But after that, the fence started going up pretty quickly.
Sharon, Kim's mother, so moved by the efforts on her daughter's behalf, tells Rob, "Oh, I'm going to cry."
And Rob asks: "Did you ever think you'd get this kind of help from your community?"
"The community has been wonderful," Sharon says, "and people have come out of the woodwork to help."
The paddock that was once built of anything Kim could put together is now a great new space for her horses.
But Rob had a few surprises in store, too.
From Pet Smart, six doghouses for the dogs Kim rescues.
From KV Vet Supply, equine formula, ropes and blankets, and a $1,000 gift certificate.
Finally, Purina Mills also makes horse food, and they are going to donate four tons.
"So," Rob tells Kim, "you should be in good shape to continue doing what you are doing. You're a great woman." And to Sharon: "You're a great mom. I'm glad I could help."
Thanks also go to Ace Hardware for providing much of the building material for this project.
Look for Rob again next week on The Early Show when he'll help a group of housewives desperately in need of a rescue.
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