Face of Philanthropy: The Running Man

One day, Ray Benoit and Jerry Hunter, VP of Information Services for Crotched Mountain, were walking the halls of Crotched Mountain School, and 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, could help. The encounter left an indelible impression on Ray.

“I saw that from all the staff,” Ray says. “The students were 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 and, eventuall, the Board of Directors. 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.”

In 2017, for his 55th birthday, Ray blended his can-do drive with his desire to support Crotched Mountain School. So, on April 15, his birthday, Ray laced up his sneakers and challenged himself to an epic run. And by the day’s end he had run an astounding 50 miles! Even better, thanks to his supporters, he raised over $5,000, with all the proceeds going to support Crotched Mountain’s students. He called this challenge “The Epic in All of Us.” He wrapped up his run at the Crotched Mountain School campus, cheered on by students and staff.

“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.”

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