We recently had two men from our group participate in The Race Across America (RAAM). Wayne Pignolet, executive and entrepreneur, rode bicycles with three other men from Oceanside, CA to Annapolis, MD. Believe it or not, they did it in six days, nine hours, 28 minutes! David Barth also a member of our men’s group was part of the crew who devoted themselves to taking care of Wayne and the other riders.
David’s 12 year old son Jackson is the inspiration for the team “Racing 24/7 for Autism.” Because of Sandpoint’s small town atmosphere, many know Jackson personally and his creative, encouraging family.
Team Laughing Dog’s goal is to raise one million dollars to support families who are dealing with autism in rural communities like Sandpoint.
Over the last six years, we have seen how one men’s group evolved into three and how all the changes more than fifty men have caused with each other has rippled through our entire community. Team Laughing Dog racing in RAAM was not directly because of the men’s group, but the group’s influence was felt by Wayne’s and David’s participation in this cause and in many other ways in our community.
Wayne was more than a rider; he was one of the two leaders who created the idea and then made sure the ride would happen; spearheading the raising of funds for autism. He took off more than six months from work to guarantee the team’s success. Now, he will take his formidable skills to a new endeavor. With the vision and commitment the man has, I am sure he will either partner with one of the employers lining up to hire him, or once again create something fresh and inspiring from his core belief that we are meant to be team players, collaborating for the good of all.
One of the advantages of a small community is that you get to see and feel directly how a few can impact many. I am not the only one moved to tears when I hear how a group of committed men and women inspired by one boy rode across America.
Thank You, Team Laughing Dog.