Scott Leason, a San Diego resident, and his Seeing Eye dog Snickers, wake up each morning between 1 and 2 a.m. to start their day. Regular meals and errands aside, a typical day for Leason includes weight training, water skiing, and wakeboarding–plus some variation of swimming, tandem bike riding and/or running, depending on whether Leason is currently training for a triathlon, water ski event, or three-day and 185-mile bike rides. But these pastimes aren’t just for fun–Leason raises thousands of dollars for charities each year as he runs, swims and rides to raise awareness for the causes he supports.
This year, Leason will be travelling to Morristown, to show his support for The Seeing Eye while riding in the second Gran Fondo NJ. Leason will ride a tandem bicycle with a volunteer captain that he’ll meet in person for the first time just two days before the event.
Snickers, a chocolate Labrador retriever, is Leason’s third Seeing Eye dog. He credits his Seeing Eye dogs with granting him the independence to continue his active lifestyle after being blinded from a gunshot wound during a convenience store robbery 19 years ago. An active surfer and motocross enthusiast prior to the accident, Leason wasn’t shy about jumping into activities that could keep him fit, both physically and mentally.
"My Seeing Eye dogs have given me the independence and spontaneity to walk out the door with less anxiety," Leason said.
He credits his strong bond with Snickers to his puppy raiser. "She left me a personal note and a photo album of his whole life so I know all about him and his background. It was very emotional and very touching."
Registration is now open for both Gran Fondo New Jersey and Run 4 The Seeing Eye. These two exciting events to benefit The Seeing Eye are scheduled for the weekend of September 8-9, 2012. Run 4 The Seeing Eye is a new event added to the weekend, featuring a 4-mile and 1-mile walk/run event. As with the bike tour, teams are encouraged to participate and raise funds. Participants in the 1-mile event are welcome to bring well-behaved dogs.
The Seeing Eye has set a fundraising goal of $150,000 for the weekend. Visit www.SeeingEye.org/Fondo to sign up, contribute to a Gran Fondo team, or learn about sponsorship opportunities for the run.