If you have kept score you might have noticed we missed a pair of blogs here at 2020 Vision Quest’s “On The Path” outreach to our community. If you are wondering who is responsible for such things, look no further than me as that’s one of my duties. I’m a little disappointed but I have to tell you the “To Do” list piled up a little more than normal and I had to make some decisions in the priority. Today I get to share both my response to the feeling of being overwhelmed and some of the rather fantastic reasons behind it all.
I do not always respond ideally to feeling like I’m on the edge. This rather fun photo from the United Way “United Over the Edge” event last June highlights one positive response to a physical moment. In life moments I feel the stresses and pressure of a schedule occasionally a bit out of control. For me a list and a priority plan are quality tools but the best tool of all is to share how I’m feeling to inspire a little collaboration on the plan for managing. Essential in that process is to understand frustration leads faster to failure and curiosity creates calm. The quicker I convert frustration to curiosity, the quicker I’m on the path to resolution.
As for what has been building the backlog, I won’t be able to share everything but a few very worthy highlights:
Schools are at the heart of our mission and we are back at schools presenting with reviews already suggesting we are on the right path!
Did I mention we have this enormous book launch incredibly close to happening? You might even expect the big news in next week’s blog on official dates, blurbs and more!
Our 2020 Vision Quest website has been in the midst of a massive redesign and will launch on Wednesday of this week! We are excited to share the many aspects of it we feel will allow it to help us further our mission.
Most of you know I dislocated my ankle badly last November and ultimately dashed my National Marathon Championship hopes. I’m hard at work training to be ready for the December 2 return with Rodney Andre guiding me to the best performance I can provide.
Finally, we are less than 48 days away from our 9th Annual Peak Potential Event. While we are sold-out (Thank you!) and have tremendous sponsorship support, we are still working on the Auction details and ensuring it’s an event worthy of all those who put their trust in us for that very goal!
I hope you’ll forgive the two week hiatus and join us in celebrating the handful of exciting details above as well as the very big news coming next week.
What is behind our educational presentations at schools throughout New England? We are told many times and in various ways that the most important part may be that inspired students and staff are often more motivated to believe in themselves, set goals, manage obstacles, face adversity, utilize problem solving, enhance perseverance, and many more positive methods of managing life as a result of our time together. This is no doubt part of why so many schools invite us to return regularly to speak with students year after year. It is also why we are inspired to give our best effort to connect with more students and schools.
But in order to accomplish this, we need your help.
We rely on those who are familiar with our presentations to share the opportunity with teachers, administrators, PTA organizations, or simply anyone connected with the process by which a school might consider bringing us to visit. We are launching a new website very soon but the links will remain constant and the basic process is well defined such that simply sharing the link with a word of encouragement might be all it takes to provide the opportunity. We suggest our For Educators page.
Sharing our site accomplishes a significant part of the need in helping more people become aware of the opportunity we provide. A second and equally important need involves the many volunteers who help Autumn and me arrive at our destination for these presentations.
We keep a private Facebook page for 2020 Vision Quest Volunteers in which I post each opportunity and allow the approved drivers to choose if they are available. I would welcome as many of you as are able to consider joining the group to enhance the possibility of those rides being available to make the school visits possible.
There are many people who have kindly put themselves on the list, but with so many visits throughout the year, we are often in need of more volunteers to manage the diverse timing and locations of these opportunities. I also keep a (presently short) list of email contacts in the event the one post to our Facebook list fails. It is worth mentioning my friend Rick Pereira has chosen to be a fail-safe plan and thus has accompanied me to more school presentations than anyone else through the years. Without his invaluable service, our ability to deliver our presentations would be significantly more challenged.
There are several people who have been tremendously supportive in this fashion and if you are unable to join the Facebook group but would be willing to join my list for emergency outreach, please drop me an email and let me know how I might reach out to you in such a situation.
Ultimately, we are confident in the benefit of our presentations and will continue to strive to ensure we provide a positive enhancement to the students and schools as we have done since our inception. As we work towards our peak potential in helping more, we always celebrate the value of team–Together Everyone Achieves More. With your help, we can powerfully realize that and work towards an excellent year ahead. I hope you’ll join us in some fashion, including helping us boost the signal by sharing this post as widely as possible.
Are you missing out on Tracy, Autumn and my trip to Scotland presently? We are delighting in our vacation at the moment, so to make amends we want to invite you to join us for an exciting opportunity. On September 14 we intend to attend the showing of the “dogumentary” “Pick of the Litter” at the Kendall Square Cinema in Cambridge, MA.
It is easy to marvel and appreciate the incredible work done by all of my Guide dogs from Ostend to Quinn to Ms. Autumn. Many times I’ve been asked for more insight into just how this is all possible and now you can get a look into the process like never before. 2020 Vision Quest is proud to support Guide Dogs for the Blind, as they lent a paw to the process of this film we want to share with you.
So save the date and come join us on September 14!
Below you can see the recent press release about this from Guide Dogs for the Blind:
After several years in the making, we are excited to announce that Guide Dogs for the Blind is the subject of an award-winning, feature-length documentary that is coming to theaters across the country at the end of August. The film, titled “Pick of the Litter,” follows a litter of GDB puppies on their journey to becoming guide dogs. The filmmakers, Dana Nachman and Don Hardy, received unprecedented access to raisers, staff, and clients in order to create this look at our life-changing mission. We hope you’ll go check it out!
We are thrilled to announce the Bank of New Hampshire returns to be our Platinum Sponsor for the 9th Annual Peak Potential Gala! Our newest team member, Carolina Tumminelli, is on board to help your sponsorship opportunity be Peak Potential worthy.
I asked Carolina to announce the great news of Bank of New Hampshire choosing to join us as the event sponsor once again while sharing a bit about her motivations for joining us. I interrupt her guest blog briefly to thank Bank of New Hampshire, Carolina, and all our potential future sponsorships for the choice to partner with the Peak potential team. I certainly love and value the work we do with 2020 Vision Quest and one of the many gifts are the interactive experiences of working with tremendous partners and teams. T.E.A.M. – Together Everyone Achieves More.
Preparations are underway for our 9th Annual Peak Potential Dinner, our largest fundraising event of the year. We are pleased and honored to announce that Bank of New Hampshire has once again agreed to be our Platinum Sponsor for the 8th year in a row! Their support of our cause, as well as yours, allows us to support the 2020 Vision Quest mission of inspiring people to reach beyond adversity and achieve their highest goals.
Through 9 years of Peak Potential, the team has been able to grow a strong community to provide incredible support, and it is with the help of Bank of New Hampshire, we continue to do so into 2018.
I’m also pleased to announce that I’ve joined Randy and the team in helping coordinate sponsorships for Peak Potential 2018 so we can make it the best year yet. As a lawyer and small business owner, I bring a different viewpoint as to what might intrigue other business owners to sponsor and support Peak Potential.
I’m excited to have the opportunity to help Randy and 2020 Vision Quest promote Peak Potential, which I was able to attend last year. It was truly an inspirational evening full of laughter and fun! I’m excited to see what we make of it this year and again have another wonderful evening.
Carolina K. Tumminelli, Owner and Attorney of The Law Offices of Carolina K. Tumminelli PLLC
On Saturday, June 2, in Concord, NH we’ll all gather for a short 3k (1.8 miles) stroll together for the Walk for Sight.
If you join us, you can see some of the amazing work of Autumn guiding me, many other guide dogs and cane users, and several hundred supporters helping us raise awareness and funds for the more than 30,000 people we hope to provide training and service at Future In Sight. We’ll finish the walk and have lunch together, and somewhere in there our 2020 Vision Quest team will present will also present a check for nearly $30,000 raised through our tremendous community of support throughout the year.
We fund raise through three main methods: our Peak Potential Dinner in November, this walk, and my corporate presentations. This walk is a low cost way to join in, literally, or by a donation to one of our team members (pick me!), but time is running out so please consider making the choice today!
Less than a month to the event and our team has been growing slowly so we hope to make this push for a full team and for all our walkers to hopefully hit their fund raising goals.
– Randy Pierce at the founding of 2020 Vision Quest in 2009
I believe that you achieve vision not from sight, but from viewing the world mindfully. Our 2020 Vision Quest team strives diligently to serve our collective vision to our best ability, or as we prefer to phrase it: peak potential! One way we achieve this is through an open-minded view of all the opportunities the world presents to us. As such, we recently did a thorough exploration of new opportunities and found to our overwhelming appreciation an obvious and worthy one to share: We are excited to announce a new partnership with Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Guide Dogs for the Blind is more than an industry-leading guide dog school; they are a passionate community that serves the visually impaired. With exceptional client services and a robust network of trainers, puppy raisers, donors, and volunteers, they prepare highly qualified guide dogs to serve and empower individuals who are blind or have low vision.
We were impressed to learn Guide Dogs for the Blind produces roughly twice as many working teams each year than other US schools. They also have an enviable financial efficiency, with an average cost per team that lower than most if not all other schools, making them an excellent value for our donation. All their services are provided free of charge and they receive no government funding. GDB is headquartered in San Rafael, California, with a second campus in Boring, Oregon. Since their founding in 1942, they have graduated more than 14,000 guide teams; today there are approximately 2,200 active teams in the field across North America. For more information, please visit guidedogs.com.
We will continue to equally split our charitable donations between two outstanding vision assistance organizations — Future In Sight and Guide Dogs for the Blind — with full confidence that we are conscientiously serving our mission.
With this announcement, we will have a cross-country partnership with a team eager to work with us on our shared vision. This is also a reunion with the school from which I received my very first Guide Dog, Ostend — but don’t worry, Autumn and I are doing fine. She is healthy, happy, and working very well with me. I expect that she and I will continue our successful work together for many years ahead.
We are excited for our new partnership and the increased impact that our support will achieve. We think you will find many reasons to appreciate their work and find them deserving of our support. Please join me in celebrating the inclusion of Guide Dogs for the Blind in the mission of 2020 Vision Quest!
“The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
On Saturday, June 2, 2018, I will celebrate walking at the 15th Annual Walk for Sight at 25 Walker Street, Concord, NH which is the home of Future In Sight. I will celebrate the thousands of lives uplifted by their life-changing training, services, and support — including my own!
What I hope to celebrate even more is the many people who will gather to walk the 3-kilometer route or otherwise support our ability to ensure thousands more in need will have the same opportunity. We can raise awareness, funds, and community connections by joining together to enjoy the late morning and early afternoon.
We have had so many commitments and activities for ourselves and our many friends that it has been more challenging to sustain our commitment to this wonderful event for the incredible 15 years. Yet the need persists and the organization’s commitment to improve it each year while elevating the incredible work they achieve has enhanced their worthiness for our efforts.
So Autumn and I implore you to consider joining our team and using the new website to help reach out for donations to support the 2020 Vision Quest effort as well as Future In Sight. We will be splitting our fundraising in a 50/50 program, assuming we meet our minimum fundraising requirements of $1,000 as a team. We have managed this each year since the program began and I can tell you that Autumn and I have made that amount our personal goal. If you cannot join our team — which is our absolute first preference — then please consider making a donation to our effort.
The earlier you make the choice to join the team, the easier it will be to hopefully help raise a few sponsorships for your walking or general donations of support. So please consider one of my personal quotations: procrastinate procrastination! Join us today and we’ll keep you informed of all the ways we hope to keep the event and our team growing together towards our goals!
” …it rocked the entire audience of 130 people. There were farmers, lawyers, doctors, teachers, artists from young to old… Everyone felt that Randy was talking to them. It was a profound experience.” – Celeste Barr, Beaver Brook Association
I always strive to connect with people. It is perhaps one of the foundations of who I am and not surprisingly how I have been able to achieve. It is why Celeste’s kind words above inspired me. Through the evolution of 2020 Vision Quest, my keynote presentations to corporations and other organizations have developed into a fundamental part of our connection and the means by which we raise funds to do our charitable work. I appreciate the outstanding and often longstanding ovations received for the method and message in our keynote approach. I intend to keep building on the worthiness and expanding our outreach.
What is the goal of my keynote presentation? While my experiences have equipped me with a foundation of prominent speaking points such as goal setting, managing adversity, teamwork, communication, managing failure, finding purpose, motivation, and more; the essence of them is my ability to customize each presentation towards the target audience.
The presentation has a highly relational conversational tone which most who attend find captivates their attention and broadens their vision. In order to do this, I typically will take the time to understand the objectives of the conference, meeting, or event to ensure the right anecdotes and themes are brought to the forefront. I encourage a positivity which is well grounded in understanding and embracing realistic challenges in a resilient, problem-solving mindset utilizing collaboration and communication to best affect.
These successful keynotes have enabled us to present across the country to hundreds of organizations. Whether a small business group or full corporate event, the testimonials continue to confirm that we meet and more often exceed the objectives professionally while providing an uplifting personal inspiration for those who join us.
As compensation for these keynote presentation, we request an honorarium to the 501(c)(3) charity, 2020 Vision Quest. With all the positive aspects involved in this opportunity, we again encourage you to consider scheduling us for your event or recommending us to someone you know in need of such a speaker for their event. We think you’ll join many people who believe it was one of the best decisions they made.
I’m all too often aware of the many worthy causes which tug on all of our heart strings as we travel the paths along our journey. Sometimes the causes fill me with sadness and the empty feeling of being insufficiently able to help. Usually though, the very act of learning is because someone has guided me to the opportunity.
It was the night before our Peak Potential event as we were closing out preparations when two inspiring people made the first choice. Tom Cassetty is a friend who also coaches young athletes in running. That morning, the father of one of his young runners had unexpectedly died. We all scramble for how to respond in such dour times laced with well intentioned platitudes. Tom wanted to ensure the runners for the track meet the next mourning would have black arm bands to wear to memorialize the father and he needed someone who could sew them together for him late that night. My wife Tracy immediately volunteered and together they made it happen despite all the many reasons she could have understandably elected not to step forward.
I am so proud and appreciative of the kindness and caring in these two people for a simple step and still I felt and feel so concerned at the wife and eight children left behind by the sudden death ofJohn Balletto.
John was their source of income through his business of moving and clean-out services Balletto & Sons in Hudson, NH. His wife Melanie intends to temporarily close the business to prepare for her ability to take over managing it going forward. Those changes will take a little bit of time and I hope that anyone in need of their services will consider reaching out to them as they re-open.
In the meantime, the holidays approach with many needs despite many caring people reaching out to help with their short term needs and if you, like me, are moved to help in any fashion; I wanted you to have access to their story and a place where you could donate.
Be the main character in your life, and the supporting character for others, especially in those lives of the people you hold dear.
When Randy asked me a few days ago if I wanted to write the guest blog about his foundation’s main event, Peak Potential, I was thrilled. When I realized that he asked me because of a conversation we had had months ago – marathons ago, difficult times ago, ages ago – I was honored. I have never heard an unkind word spoken about Randy or Tracy – in fact, everyone always says they are both inspirational, awe-inspiring, amazing. That’s all true, and last night’s event was a complete testament to that. But that wasn’t my take away from last night’s dinner and fundraiser.
I arrived fashionably early last night, and was immediately greeted by Tracy, Randy’s beautiful and also inspiring wife. Tracy isn’t just the woman behind the man – she takes on her own challenges – school while working full time, running, etc – and handles them with grace and sometimes, I’m sure, a few choice words, but nonetheless she handles them! I was handed my name tag, given a few details about the night, and directed to the room where the silent auction items were laid out. There were people milling about looking at items, but what struck me was the team that was still working diligently to take care of those last few details to make sure the event went smoothly. As my friends arrived, we drank, ate and chatted. And that’s the second time I was awe-struck again. I was surrounded by friends – amazing people who were doing amazing things, some small, some large – none more amazing than the next and everyone had chosen to spend an evening in support of our friend, Randy, because of what he meant to us.
The items for the silent auction were plentiful and amazing – from jewelry, to weekend stays at a ski resort, to a beautiful, handmade afghan blanket made by Randy’s mother (probably the most valuable item in that room). It was wonderful to see how many different people and organizations had come together to donate items to support 2020 Vision Quest.
We were slowly ushered into the dining room, where dinner was served. The food was delicious and the atmosphere lively – somehow you felt and knew that Randy and Tracy, and their friends, had orchestrated every last detail so that we would all have an amazing evening (although I must admit, the coffee was lacking in quality, but I’ll let it slide).
The Live Auction was next and brought laughter, bribery with puppies, bidding wars, and an extraordinary amount of money raised for the charity! And apparently someone is being fed homemade scones by Randy while riding in a hot air balloon – I’ll let you decide if that’s a prize or not.
Then, Randy spoke. I don’t want to say he gave a presentation – he does that almost every day to various schools and organizations. Nope, last night, Randy spoke. He spoke to a room full of friends, family, supporters – he spoke to his team – the people he has in his life who help him get through the big challenges, the daily struggles, the happy times and sad days. Randy spoke about being the main character in your life story – making the choices that allow you to be the best person you can be, to reach your Peak Potential. No matter who you are, you need to surround yourself with a team of people who will help you, guide you, catch you when you fall, laugh with you, and love you. Randy spoke about building that team so that you could be the main character in your life story, not just a backseat driver. And I’ll take it one step further: on top of being the main character in your own life story, be a supporting role for others, particularly those people that you hold dear. Life is too short to live it in solitude, thinking you can achieve your goals alone. Besides, when you get to the top of the mountain, you want someone there to share in the champagne, whiskey, coffee, and cake (okay, maybe not the coffee!).
Guys, life is not easy, but it wasn’t meant to be. We all have our stories, our struggles, our journeys. I own my own business, have two small children, attempt to be a runner, and try to be there for my friends and family – the people I hold close. Because without those people, I wouldn’t be able to even THINK about achieving the goals I want to achieve. They believe in me, even when I do not.
The final “event” of the night was a team/table event where people could make pledges towards 2020 Vision Quest. The team – everyone in the room – raised more than $13,000 in less than 10 minutes! That’s teamwork!
At the end of the night, I grabbed one of the posters that was being handed out. I didn’t open it up until this morning, but when I did, I knew it was a poster that was going to be hanging in my kitchen so that I could see it every day, so that my kids could see it every day. It is the embodiment of what I want to teach my children – climb your mountain, reach your peak potential, and remember, you can’t do it alone – build your team and be there for the people who have chosen you to be on their team.