The Running Man
Crotched Mountain Trustee, Ray Benoit, is running 55 miles in one day to raise funds and build awareness for Crotched Mountain School.
To support his “Epic in All Of Us” campaign please visit his First Giving page at: firstgiving.com/53811/the-epic-in-all-of-us
When Ray Benoit and Jerry Hunter were walking the halls of Crotched Mountain School, a student paused to say hello. Jerry’s face lit up as he chatted with the young man, asked how his day was going and then bid a fond farewell. The two men continued their business, talking about Crotched Mountain’s I/T infrastructure and how Ray’s company, RTM Communications, can help. The encounter left an indelible impression on Ray.
“I saw that from all the staff,” Ray says. “They were all treated with respect and dignity and love. It was an amazing thing.”
Ray was so moved by this experience, he joined Crotched Mountain's Board of Trustees, one of the few members without a direct relationship to someone who attended the school. His relationship with the organization was a professional one, but in the students and staff and teachers he saw his personal life philosophy reflected back at him in surprising ways.
“I want to live my life as an example of what you can do instead of what you can’t do,” he says. “What was so amazing to me is how the students at Crotched Mountain overcome challenges on a daily basis. They’re using technology to move a mouse cursor with their eye or walking down the hallway for the first time on their own using new equipment.”
For his upcoming 55th birthday, Ray is blending his can-do drive with his desire to support Crotched Mountain School. He’s going to run 55 miles on April 15, his birthday. But instead of a strictly personal quest, he’s turned the run into a fundraiser for Crotched Mountain, a shared challenge to others - $1 a mile, $55 per person, $5,500 total, all the proceeds going to support Crotched Mountain’s students.
To pull it off, he’s been hitting the treadmill daily and plotting out the logistics with the intense detail of, well, an engineer, which he is. He’s got his route mapped, a relatively level course around the Souhegan River; he’s got his kids following him in his car; he’s got two pairs of shoes and two shirts to swap out; and most of all, he’s got a tremendous cause.
“I may not have any children at the school,” he says. “But if I ever needed a place like Crotched Mountain, I need to make sure it continues to exist - and that’s why I volunteer.”