As April came to an end, I sat down to write a recap, but it somehow took me a whole month to get to it. Anyway, I wanted to write directly to those of you who have shown continued support for what we’ve been doing over the last year. I’ve had the chance to speak with many of you, at one point or another, about some of the ambitious plans for Proactive going forward.
The vision is big. With our newly introduced Trailblazer and Explorer memberships and the upcoming Proactive: Adventure, Health, & Wellness Festival, my short-term goals may be apparent, but I want to elaborate on a few things that I may not have made all that apparent.
For one, when I’ve said in the past that I didn’t want to be just another hiking club, I truly mean that. We have always defined ourselves as a “hiking and outdoor adventure collective”; before I would say we were simply a hiking club, I’d say Proactive is more of a social club based around hiking, the outdoors, and an active lifestyle.
I have been clear about wanting to organize more events or activities off the trail and have been happy to see many of you in your street clothes from time to time along the way. Deeper than that, I have a real desire to continue to grow Proactive - with the help of many of you – and really stretch the possibilities of something like this.
I hope to one day be able to present opportunities to others through a natural growth progression – the possibilities are wide - and I want Proactive to be a strong enough presence to have noteworthy experiences & expansive benefits made available to Proactive members.
Our member benefits will be going into effect within the next few days. For those of you who have purchased memberships, a huge, sincere thank you. To those who are interested, please ask me questions. At this point, I don’t want to run down all the benefits as they are listed on the website.
I do, however, want Proactive Trailblazers to see their lifetime memberships as an investment; an investment in us, an investment in the vision, and an investment to reap whatever benefits we may be able to attain for our members in the future – I’m seeing everything from a near-future Proactive shuttle to weekends at a Proactive Clubhouse further down the line. For a more timely benefit, Trailblazer memberships include admission to the Proactive: Adventure, Health, & Wellness Festival.
The festival is a good example of one of the noteworthy experiences I mentioned earlier. I can’t say for sure that “festival” is even the best word to describe what we’re planning; it certainly is not a convention, or a conference. Festival also has a better ring than jubilee. Not to mention, our very own Christian Mena will be leading a live band at our closing party on Saturday night, 7.27.
We're currently selling tickets to the festival and there are a few key components that make it worth every cent. As I’ve said many times before, I don’t want to ask people to pay for something if I can’t justify value.
(1) We will be providing transportation to and from several hikes over the course of the weekend which ticket holders can register for. In addition to this, there will be many unique partner activities and classes that will also be offered. The weekend, as much of a celebration as it is, will be packed with physical activity if you want it to be.
(2) Buying a ticket will enter the ticket holder into ALL the vendor giveaways. So, even if you don’t do anything else, at all, all weekend, you’ll still be entered to win one of a long list of very generous gifts from our friends at Merrell, Paramus Orthopedic Physical Therapy, Views Apparel Company, and more!
(3) There will be a bunch of free partner services being offered in the ballroom throughout the course of the festival. Let’s say the diverse offerings will be anywhere between Rochelle Chiropractic offering posture analysis to CBDelish offering free snacks.
(4) A portion of all proceeds will be donated to charity. We have two charities in mind – one will benefit our region's outdoor community directly while the other will benefit a wider, outside cause. We’re working out the details and will announce the charities soon. Nevertheless, I’m certain the choices are organizations that everybody will be happy to get behind.
(5) The reason there’s a special hotel discount available at the Doubletree in Mahwah is because the weekend is meant to be an actual good time! I don’t necessarily want to see people wandering around tables with jackets and pamphlets tucked in between their arms. I’d much rather be responsible for creating a loose, relaxed atmosphere where people get to take in a hike in the morning, spend the day partaking in good conversations or interesting activities, and then enjoy some food and drink in the evening while being treated to live music. Most of all, this event should be memorable. It’s the first time we’re doing this, so we have a nice chance to create some new for ourselves, something we’ll actually, wholeheartedly enjoy.
I've been working on these projects for quite some time. Knowing that people work hard for their money and don't want to part with it for something that's not worthwhile. Both the memberships and the festival tickets are our form of crowdfunding, but we've made sure to keep things interesting, fresh, and bold while it happens.
Let me close by saying this, the team and I thank you for every second you've spent supporting Proactive. It's humbling and it's appreciated. We’ve made (and facilitated) so many great, genuine connections along the way that we’ve started to create our own community within the community – and we’ve only just begun...
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