By Jim Caron
When Randy Pierce started 2020 Vision Quest in 2010, he could never have guessed what successes would be accomplished in the year 2012.
True to his most urgent goal, in the spring he was able to present $10,000 contributions to each of our two key charities — New Hampshire Association for the Blind (NHAB), and Guiding Eyes for the Blind, which trains guide dogs. These organizations provide vital, life-changing support to individuals stricken with devastating vision loss, helping them reclaim the full possibilities of their lives, much as Randy himself displays each day. And their services become more relevant every day, as the Baby Boom generation ages.
On yet another front, Randy’s passion for enlightening young people reached full pitch, with presentations at schools scheduled in almost every week of 2012 — and often multiple schools in the same week! By his tally, he and Quinn have now brought their message of Ability Awareness and of reaching beyond one’s limitations to over 18,000 young minds. It is tremendously gratifying for Randy when he hears back from teachers that their class has taken his message to heart, like for example, the fifth-grade class that adopted a mantra of “What would Randy and Quinn do?” when confronted with a challenge.
Companies likewise caught on to the power of the message, and in 2012, speaking to corporate meetings became a significant source of donated funds. For the record, Randy himself receives no personal compensation for any of his 2020 Vision Quest efforts, which as you can see are herculean.
Also gratifying were the successes of the Winter 48 Hikes, which put Randy and Quinn into the record books as the first blind man and guide dog to climb all 48 of NH’s 4,000-footers in a single winter season. Film-maker Dina Sutin documented the experience, and produced a beautiful short film that appeared in local theaters in the fall, generating contributions through ticket and DVD sales.
In the spring, Randy took on the grueling task of walking 100 miles in support of NHAB’s 100th anniversary. Shortly after, the summer hiking season commenced, ultimately adding another 14 peaks to the tally, which now stands at 36. The remaining 12 of the 48 peaks are scheduled for completion in 2013, well ahead of Randy’s original goal of the year 2020.
Closing the year, our third annual Peak Potential trails-end gala likewise reached new heights. Tables had to be added to accommodate the requests for seats, and our fund-raising auction set new records for both items contributed and total sales.
I have to be honest — I find it kind of exhausting to even consider how far Randy and Quinn have “pulled the plow” this year. But it reflects the intensity of desire that Randy has in his heart to make a difference to the lives of anyone he can help. He is truly a man who will give you the shirt off his back. (Note to self: return Randy’s shirt.)
As we end this year, I ask that each of you consider giving Randy Pierce the gift of your support. Click that donate button, and chip in a few dollars to help keep our charities going strong. Or visit our gift shop, and buy a t-shirt, hat, or hoodie sweatshirt, for yourself or as a gift to a 2020 Vision Quest supporter you know. Show the love with one of our coffee mugs, or a Quinn-approved doggie dish.
The proceeds, I assure you, benefit real people in very real ways. Best of all, your enthusiasm for Randy’s mission will keep him going strong in 2013, and beyond.
Let me also wish you the best of the season, for the entire 2020 Vision Quest crew. May you be as blessed in the coming year as we have been in 2012.