by guest blogger Kim Kett-Johnson
“Sight lets you see where you are right now; vision lets you see where you are going.”
I heard my friend Randy Pierce, Founder of 2020 Vision Quest, say this quote in an interview this past December and it has really stayed with me. I have posted it as my Facebook status and tweeted it. It really puts in perspective for me how Randy chooses to live his life with his blindness, always looking towards what could be done instead of dwelling on what might be a challenge to do. I have known Randy for 25 years. I have known him sighted, and without sight, able to walk and move around with ease, and known him when he was confined to a wheelchair. I knew Randy would not be confined to anything for long. Randy’s tenacity and bold joie de vivre have always made people stand up and take notice. Notably, the New England Patriots organization, the NFL, HBO, WMUR TV, and too numerous to mention radio stations and people in the blogosphere who all want to hear what he thinks is going on right now and what his vision is on any number of topics. Randy is sought after for his intellect on a variety of subjects, and this, I believe, is because everyone who meets Randy takes something away from the meeting that makes them feel good about themselves. Randy just has that way about him.
All of this background brings me to the purpose of my post today. About a year or so ago, I learned that Randy was starting a charity organization. I wasn’t at all surprised that the man who feels, even in going blind, that he has been given so much that he would like to give back to others. From there, 2020 Vision Quest was born, the brainchild of Randy and his amazing wife Tracy (behind every man is a good woman.) Through their collaborative efforts to get it going, the true vision took off, and Randy and his guide dog, the Mighty Quinn, prepared to climb all of the 4000+ foot peaks in New Hampshire by the year 2020. All to raise money for the charity.
One of the highlights of last year, for me, was attending the first annual Peak Potential Dinner & Charity Auction. Besides helping to support the great work of 2020 Vision Quest, it was so wonderful that it brought many of our old friends together. One group bought a table, and I had part of another table with a different group of friends. We all got together to have a couple drinks, eat great food, and be together. We bid against each other at the auction, both silent and not so silent, and we reminisced and decided that the night was just like a party in college since we were all together — except we had better clothes and better hair, (some MUCH better hair, some not so much hair at all.)
At the event, we were fortunate enough to hear Randy give a presentation about 2020 Vision Quest and the work the organization has done, as well as what he has accomplished with the Mighty Quinn. This included their numerous hikes and climbs, and speaking engagements Randy (and Quinn) have given to schools and other organizations on behalf of 2020 Vision Quest. Randy has given 2020 Vision Quest not only vision, but also a voice.
A great time was had by all and I am looking forward to attending this year. I have no doubt that more friends will attend, now that they know what a great time it was for all of us who attended the inaugural event. So make sure to “Save the Date” for next year’s event on Saturday, November 12th, for which planning is already underway. Put it on the calendar, get a sitter if you need to, bring your friends, drink, bid, and just be with people you care about. Not only will you just have a great time, but you can support a wonderful organization and take advantage of being able to get to know my friend Randy Pierce, a man who I think has true vision.