By Celina Jimenez
Pioneer Title Agency has partnered with the Arizona Trail Association to celebrate its 30th anniversary in an unconventional manner: an ongoing hike across the Arizona Trail.
In lieu of hosting an extravagant party at a grand resort, Pioneer Title has chosen to participate in “Take A Hike,” a program that serves the dual purpose of providing a wellness challenge for employees and a fundraising opportunity for the Trail. The Arizona Trail is an 800-plus mile recreation trail from Mexico to Utah that connects mountain ranges, canyons, deserts, forests, wilderness areas, historic sites, trail systems, points of interest, and communities.
Tom Davis, vice president of Pioneer Title Agency’s Phoenix Peak office located at 7310 N. 16th St., Suite 250, said the program has already built camaraderie within the office and raised significant funds for the Trail, which also is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
“Everybody really dove into this. It’s built a sense of pride into the office in addition to adding a bit of internal competition,” Davis said, noting that employees have enjoyed seeing who has completed the hardest hikes and raised the most funds.
Davis added that hiking has been an interest of his for years, so this program was “right up my alley.”
Recently, a 17-person group made up of members from the Phoenix Peak office as well as friends and family hiked Passage 15 in the Tortilla Mountains located in Pinal County. Davis’ group hiked the north 17 miles, while another team from the Phoenix Peak office hike the south 11 miles, all on the same day.
In addition to collectively hiking, biking, running or riding all 817 miles of the trail, Pioneer’s statewide team, which consists of more than 375 people, is aspiring to raise at least $30,000 for the trail this year. So far, the team has already completed 19 of the 43 unique passages and raised approximately $15,000, Davis said.
“This project is one of many volunteer and fundraising activities happening in 2015 that our folks will be involved in,” says Keith Newlon, Pioneer’s president. “In fact, our team has a statewide community relations program, Pioneer Title Agency in Action, which focuses on giving back both time and money to hundreds of local causes across Arizona.”
Although Newlon says that this particular program is intended to benefit the Arizona Trail, he noted that “giving back at the hyper-local level is something each and every team member in all 55 branches is encouraged to do each day.”
Ultimately, the money raised for the Arizona Trail Association will contribute to the building, maintenance, protection, promotion and sustainability of the trail as a whole.
Interestingly enough, the concept for the Arizona Trail was born atop Coronado Peak, not far from Sierra Vista, where the Newlon family first founded Pioneer.
“One of our goals for this challenge is that more Arizonans will fall in love with the natural wonders that exist along the Arizona National Scenic Trail,” said Matthew Nelson, the Arizona Trail Association’s executive director. “Pioneer’s commitment to covering the entire length of the trail is admirable, and means that many individuals will get to experience some of the least-traveled areas in our state.”