Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Why I Give: Bob Foulkes




I believe in adventures; stepping out of my comfort zone, challenging myself, learning and growing have now become a vital part of my life. Even now, in my late 60s, I am charging ahead, not recklessly but with purpose.

It wasn’t always so. In the course of documenting my adventures over the past decades, I have managed to trace my thirst for adventure back to the well-spring, the headwaters if you will allow me, of my river of joyful adventures.

It was my son, Blair, who started the transformation. Only 15, he completed a 17 day Outward Bound hike in the Coastal Mountains out of Outward Bound’s base at Pemberton, BC. He went away a boy and came back completely transformed into a confident young man. I wanted what he gained; so the next year I took my first Outward Bound adventure. At the age of 46, without a taut muscle in my body and weighing in at over 230 pounds, I bumbled and stumbled my way into my first great adventure. It wasn’t elegant, it wasn’t fun, but it sure was transformative. It started me on a life of adventures: running, marathons, triathlons, travel, cooking school, sea kayaking - all can be traced back to the well-spring of Outward Bound.

It is a gift that keeps on giving. I summited Kilimanjaro with my Outward Bound team; last year, I temporarily contained a deep irrational fear of water to join Outward Bound’s canoe trip down the Nahanni. Neither was conceivable without Outward Bound. Trust in their leadership, faith in their skill and dependence on their experience allowed me to transform my fear into faith and opened the door to these unbelievable adventures.

I am giving back to this wonderful organization. My small contributions over the past decade have grown to include bigger contributions through their special expeditions and the attendant fundraising commitment.

Last year I made the big leap; I made a sizeable - for me - five-year commitment to Outward Bound. Outward Bound is now the primary focus of my donation dollars.

Why? It is simple. 

I want to share this remarkable capacity for personal transformation that Outward Bound programs offer with as many people as possible.

I want to support the valuable programs that support Veterans, Women of Courage, Youth at Risk and Aboriginal Youth. Sometimes those who need Outward Bound the most are the least able to pay the cost.

I want more people to find balance, serenity, purpose and self confidence through affirmative programs like Outward Bound. I want to show my gratitude to the people of Outward Bound for transforming my life.

I want to share the valuable life-changing and life-affirming experience that I was so generously given by Outward Bound.

My contribution to Outward Bound allows me to accomplish this. If you have any inclination, Outward Bound staff make it easy and understandable to contribute.

Go ahead, get off the couch, take a course, have an adventure and write a cheque.

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