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Taking Action

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‘Karen and Jay highlight the importance and many benefits of ‘taking action!’

Have you ever had a great idea? Something very important? That you really wanted to accomplish? But you found yourself stuck. Perhaps procrastinating - pondering how to make it happen. So, you never got started. Sadly, time passed – and it never came to be? It’s a familiar story for so many people with seemingly great ideas and ambitions. But thankfully, there is a pretty straightforward – although not always easy - solution. The key is to just get started. Take that first step forward. Take action!

If you’re a regular reader of the Sunshine Report, you’re probably familiar with my great respect and admiration for the 26th president of the United States, Teddy Roosevelt. For those who aren’t, a good portion of my own personal philosophy and outlook on life is due to the wisdom and vision that he seemed to carry with him throughout his life. Importantly, there was a particular insight he once shared that I often think of and use, especially in difficult moments. It helps me not only make decisions – but it generates a positive power to get started and take action.

Roosevelt said: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” In other words, you will never find the perfect time or the perfect conditions to move forward. But that’s O.K. Just get started. Make the best of what you have and where you are – and good things will happen. It’s a particularly subtle phrase from a man who is so often quoted, but it’s a quote I believe to be one of his most powerful. It also has incredible staying power even in this day and age where the desire for perfection can sometimes hamper us from achieving our goals.

The value and power found in his words lies not with just ‘making due’ but with being resourceful and being able to maximize what we have in any situation. When we make the most of what we have, we not only tend to go above and beyond what we thought we were capable of, we also create opportunities that might have otherwise been overlooked. This helps encourage our own creativity and ingenuity. When we’re in a position where resources are limited, constraints often compel us to find solutions to problems we otherwise would not have come across. This can inspire innovation that itself leads to new opportunities.

Even further, by following Roosevelt’s philosophy, we also train ourselves to become more resilient and adaptable. As we each know, life can throw curve balls our way at any second, altering or even changing plans we had all together. But when we take a “do what you can” approach as I like to call it, we teach ourselves over time how to navigate challenges and setbacks. In doing so, we increase our chances of turning what may at first seem a negative into a net positive, all while fostering personal growth and continued self-improvement.

This isn’t to say that ‘doing what you can with what you have’ doesn’t require patience and some good old fashioned hard work, and there may even be days where you wonder if it’s even the right approach at all. But the truth is, oftentimes when we feel circumstances aren't ideal or we don’t have enough resources at our disposal or the work is too hard, inaction and procrastination can settle in, which have their own adverse effects. Even when we take small incremental steps, we’re still making progress. When we take those small steps, focus on what we have in front of us and stay determined even in the face of adversity, the real reward isn’t only what we gain when we’ve reached our goal, but the lessons we learn along the way.

Please a moment to think about a few key objectives you have in your life – even now – and see if by addressing them with a ‘do what you can, with what you have, where you are’ approach might just give you the progress and inspiration you need in finding success!

Hero Pups: Taking Action to Help Veterans and First Responders

Here’s a story about a woman who has ‘taken action’ and is having a positive impact on the lives of so very many deserving individuals. As a result, in Stratham, New Hampshire, a group of remarkable canine companions known as the ‘Hero Pups’ is providing vital help and care for people suffering with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). These specially trained service dogs play a vital role in providing support, comfort, and assistance to those who have experienced trauma.

As a Wounded Warrior mom, Laura Barker (yes, that’s her real name) saw the need for specially trained dogs for our Veterans who suffer from PTSD. So, she took action and started Hero Pups, a 501(c)3 non-profit. Over time, this program has been expanded to include First Responders and even Comfort Dogs that police departments utilize in community service and emotionally challenging situations for victims. Hero Pups has been operating for seven years and has paired more than 200 dogs with recipients at no charge while operating with a 100 percent volunteer staff.

Service dogs are essential for individuals living with PTSD due to their unique abilities to sense and respond to emotional distress. Hero Pups are specifically trained to recognize signs of anxiety, panic, or emotional distress in their handlers. By responding with gentle nudges, pawing, or even leaning against their handlers, these remarkable dogs provide a calming and grounding presence during challenging moments.

Furthermore, the bond between a service dog and their handler is invaluable. Hero Pups not only offer practical assistance but also emotional support. They become trusted companions, providing unwavering loyalty and companionship. The presence of a four-legged friend who understands and accepts without judgment can greatly enhance the quality of life for individuals with PTSD.

Hero Pups are changing lives by empowering individuals with PTSD to regain their independence and reintegrate into society. These extraordinary dogs and their dedicated trainers are true heroes, demonstrating the profound impact that service dogs can have on mental health and well-being.

It is crucial to recognize the importance of service dogs in supporting individuals with PTSD. Their unique abilities and unconditional love help to alleviate symptoms, reduce anxiety, and enhance overall quality of life. Hero Pups serves as a shining example of the positive impact that these remarkable animals can have on those in need. And how one person can ultimately change the lives of many for the better!

To learn how to apply for a dog, donate, volunteer, learn about local events or perhaps form a group of coworkers to help the cause, go to

Theodore Roosevelt in NH – TR and the Granite State

Theodore Roosevelt earned the well-deserved reputation as a ‘larger-than-life’ historical figure and did so in large part, due to his willingness – even an ‘eagerness’ - to always be taking action – from his time leading the Rough Riders charging up San Juan Hill in Cuba – to his exploits as a real-life cowboy, a political reformer, trust buster, founder of the Bull Moose Party and more. He is also well-known for his endeavors to preserve American history such as the American Museum of Natural History, the American Bison Society, and the creation and expansion of our National Parks. But few probably know that his adventures also brought him to New Hampshire and his creating a piece of world history right here in the Granite State.

Known by many as “Teddy,” (a nickname he actually disliked, preferring the name TR), Roosevelt was elected Vice-President of the United States in 1900. He then became President shortly thereafter due to the assassination of President McKinley in 1901.

One year later, in 1902, while campaigning during the midterm elections it was then that he came to New Hampshire and other New England states to rally support for candidates across the region. And that is when his relationship with the Granite State began. While in New Hampshire as President, he visited his Secretary of State John Hay at Hay’s beautiful estate, known as ‘The Fells’ on the shores of Lake Sunapee, in Newbury, New Hampshire.

Also on this trip, he visited nearby Newport as well as making a stop in Manchester. Interestingly, while in Newport, Roosevelt ‘the hunter’ made a trip to Corbin Park – a well-known hunting preserve on the outskirts of town. As it turns out, around the same time, a naturalist who worked at Corbin Park named Ernest Harold Baynes had just started raising buffalo in nearby Meriden, NH to supplement the declining herd in the west. Roosevelt was intrigued by the New Hampshire based ‘buffalo or bison initiative.’ And, in true ‘TR fashion’ got so excited that along with Baynes, he helped found the American Bison Society. And, of course, not surprisingly, due to TR’s enthusiastic nature and force of personality - Roosevelt was named president of the organization.

Several years later, in 1905, Roosevelt’s relationship with New Hampshire made it to the world stage. Russia and Japan had been at war – and Roosevelt - consistent with the TR persona, decided to take action, be a ‘force for good’ and bring the two parties together. Selecting Portsmouth, NH as the location for negotiations, both parties made their way to the state’s seacoast city – and held highly productive negotiations, skillfully orchestrated by Roosevelt. The negotiators met at various locations around Portsmouth including the famous Wentworth Hotel. The result – a smashing success – known as the ‘Treaty of Portsmouth,’ agreed in 1905. It not only brought peace to the two parties – but also earned for Roosevelt the Nobel Peace Prize and secured for America a well-deserved position as a ‘player’ in international relations.

Positive Profile of the Week: Don Hague and the Sugar River Golf Club Investors Group - Swinging a Community into Action!

This week we are delighted to highlight a Newport, NH area resident, Don Hague and a fellow group of golf enthusiasts who decided to take action, and as a result have made a terrifically positive impact on the Newport community! And, in so doing, contributed to the exciting revitalization of Newport and the efforts of the Sunshine Initiative!

Back in the summer of 2022, the golf industry across the United States was in its third year of banner results as people seeking relief from the isolation imposed by COVID's social restrictions flocked to golf courses for a safe social activity. Yet things were unsettled at the Newport Golf Club. After three years of absentee ownership by a Kentucky bank, members were disgruntled as the course was not being properly maintained and equipment not replaced as it aged and went unrepaired. Clearly, the course was ripe for a real estate development flip which would bring to an end a 100 year tradition of community golf in the tightly knit community of Newport NH.

Meanwhile, that summer, Newport area resident, Don Hague and the fellow members of his regular foursome would gather each Saturday at 7am to enjoy a round of golf as the greens and fairways were misted with early morning dew. 'What if we could talk the bank into selling at a reasonable price' became a common theme. The bank was approached and yet remained unmoved in their unrealistic demands. But over the course of the summer the group made it clear to the bank that they were serious, sufficiently funded, and ready to act. By summer's end the bank rethought its position, decided to accept the local group’s offer and the deal is closed in November with a group of investors that had grown from the original four to a greatly expanded group of thirteen. The Sugar River Golf Club Investor group took action and funded the purchase as well as providing additional capital to bring the course up to par after years of neglect.

Reaction from the community could not have been more enthusiastic. Don became the face of the new team at the golf course, and in the first five months, before golfing operations had hardly commenced, membership enrollment more than doubled. Play from the public was up over 30 percent year over year, and the community got deeply involved in activities at the Club more than ever. The Clubhouse was renovated, the opening of the Hole-In-One Diner for breakfast and lunch was a shot in the arm to a community that lost its beloved breakfast restaurant, The Country Kitchen, more than three years earlier. The Bag Mutha Chukers moved to the Sunrise Pavilion at the club to host Corn Hole matches each Wednesday night, and the Club sold out its inaugural Spring Gala much to the delight of the attendees.

Don’s always looking for ways to promote the Club so back in May they sponsored the Newport Area Chamber of Commerce’s ‘Business after Hours’ event. Chamber members were encouraged to bring a co-worker and mingle with other area professionals. And this past June, Don was one of the keynote speakers at the Sunshine Week Newport event that was held at The Old Courthouse. He told the story of how they acquired the Golf Club and also shared about some of the exciting tournaments and events they will be hosting over the summer and fall. He noted that while many of golfers on the course are from the local area, there are quite a few who come from all across the state and even from neighboring states.

A lot of action remains to be taken. Running a golf course is always a challenge and this years' floods have presented unique challenges to the Club's Superintendent and green’s crew as the Sugar River has overflowed its banks three times so far this year. But the club has managed to stay open more than 99 percent of the time, improve golf conditions, upgrade the fleet of golf carts, bring on a Golf Pro, add instruction and clinics, add solar panels to the Sunrise Pavilion, and undertake a myriad other projects to make “The Gem of the Sugar River Valley” a fun place to be. You’ll find all the information you need at

Huge thanks and congratulations to Don, and the entire team of investors and enthusiasts who have helped preserve the Newport Golf Course and provide the enjoyment and comradery of the golfing experience for our wonderful community.

Quotes of the Week: The Importance of Taking Action

"In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing." - Theodore Roosevelt "The path to success is to take massive, determined action." - Tony Robbins “Action is the foundational key to all success." - Pablo Picasso "The future depends on what you do today." - Mahatma Gandhi "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." - Wayne Gretzky


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