I have been asked what my plans are for continuing the Stand for the Man in Black fundraiser. Did I consider it a failure? What my next move would be? How is this struggle for survival affecting the direction of both the fundraiser and Pioneer Outfitters?
Weather is important to any Alaskan bush pilot, so with that in mind I would like to share with you where we are heading with the fundraiser and the mindset behind it, clear skies you might say. These thoughts came together for me as inspired through the insights of Brian Sooy and reading his book, Raise Your Voice.
I have overheard conversations stating that it was a forgone conclusion that we couldn’t possibly expect to raise enough money to replace the much needed aircraft and that it was only my own arrogance that led me to believe that perfect strangers let alone personal acquaintances would even consider joining us in Standing for Survival of a largely unknown business in a tiny, though historic, dot on only a few maps.
The Struggle for Survival
Here, I will share with you what I have been focusing and searching for these last months.
No, I will not ever quit, fade away or stop. I will Stand for the Man in Black, as I will ask you to. I am Standing for Survival as that is what we do.
The Stand for the Man in Black campaign is nowhere near a failure. Almost 50 people, most of whom we have never met in person or online via Social Media are Standing for Survival as we together Stand for the Man in Black. The Stand for the Man in Black campaign is nowhere near done.
The next step to support and spread the word for Stand for the Man in Black is to continue to expand and share the need with the world; through individual meetings, private conversations, Social Media Channels and the creation of personal connections.
No, it wasn’t arrogance. It may have been just a small bit of naivety on my part, jumping in and knowing almost nothing of the depth of the waters I was jumping into, but I also know that when we know something is good and right and yet stand back and do nothing, we are as guilty as one who would work against what is good and right.
I have learned an enormous amount since beginning the campaign in April 2014 and there is ten times that much more for me to learn. However, learn I will. That much I have already learned, from perfect strangers as well as personal acquaintances.
Stand for the Man in Black
To assure the survival of Pioneer Outfitters and those who come to explore, discover and experience the wilderness of Alaska that surrounds Chisana.
Mission and Vision ~
(How) To raise enough money to replace the airplane lost to fire and to show all others what strangers (people yet unknown) can do to help one another because they can and because it is right.
(What) To raise Pioneer Outfitters from the ashes that the fire left for us, the world’s own Phoenix rising to guard and guide those who wish to experience the Last Frontier. It is to give hope, faith and love to all those who seek what has been lost; through the sharing of our lives to all, the glory and the defeats and the will to survive.
Goals and outcome ~
To replace the airplane lost to fire and to regain the superior confidence and pride by which Pioneer Outfitters has always presented to the State of Alaska and Professional Guides worldwide.
To continue to offer a place deep within the wilderness that offers safety, welcome, comfort and adventure to any who may come. And to return to helping others achieve their greatest dreams.
The strategy by which we will achieve this is by continuing to stay the path of which is right, to continue to reach out to all, to learn as we fight to survive what is needed to allow others to understand what it is we fight for and why it matters.
The Struggle for Survival
We will not lower ourselves to the ways of many; like the pack that attacks its own member when it falls or is lame. We will continue to throw open the doors of darkness, to walk through them blind and to feel the light and warmth of hearts and minds coming together. We will not give up, back down or fade away. The struggle for survival has done nothing but make us more sure that the direction and intentions we have are the right ones. It has revealed weaknesses and strengthened us all.
For more information and the whole story of how Stand for the Man in Black and Standing for Survival came to be, please visit these three pages on this website:
The recently opened Shushanna General Store is also doing its part Standing for Survival! All proceeds (100%) from merchandise supporting Stand for the Man in Black and Standing for Survival is given directly to the fundraiser.
This post was inspired by what I learned from Brian Sooy and his book Raise Your Voice, A Cause Manefesto.