DeWitt P. Davenport, C.E.O., The Davenport Companies Founder, Seaside Le Mans – The Race for the Cape Cod Community Co-Founder, Friends of Bass River Chairman of the Board, Cape Cod Healthcare
We’ve all heard the clichés – lead by example, teach a man to fish, think globally act locally. These phrases have stood the test of time because they ring true. But why do we do what we do? What inspires us to take action? How can we make an impact not only today but for future generations? Motivations can come from a desire to see change or to be part of something bigger than ourselves. What’s important to remember is volunteerism is a cumulative action. We often see large events or drastic change, but each is made up of a series of hundreds if not thousands of smaller steps leading to the overall goal. Our individual actions create a ripple effect, spurring others to take steps themselves, culminating in long-lasting transformations. One person can make a difference – maybe you don’t have six hours to dedicate to a community cleanup, but if you’re walking on the beach and see an empty can or wrapper, do you walk by or do you pick it up? The impact of picking up a few pieces of trash is not only the immediate result of beautifying that stretch of beach for the next person, but it also sets an example for anyone who happens to see you doing it, especially the next generation. Opportunities to get involved abound both regionally and locally. I’m often asked about a few organizations that are passion projects of mine. The first is regional, Seaside Le Mans – The Race for the Cape Cod Community. Initially created in 2001 to engage local companies in philanthropy (in a fun way!), the annual 4-hour race of Formula One-style karts through Mashpee Commons has generated millions of dollars for our community. It’s an event that sparks action via sponsorships and volunteerism, growing throughout the years and even incorporating a new volunteer “bike build” at the 2018 race. More recently I was involved in the creation of Friends of Bass River, a new organization on a very local level, combining my environmental concerns for the health of the river with my enthusiasm for boating and fishing. The goal is to garner the support and action of our neighbors, friends and businesses as we “educate, collaborate and preserve” to save the river. I also invest my time with Cape Cod Healthcare, helping ensure that we maintain the highest levels of service and respond to the many needs of the Cape Cod community. Allow your passions to propel you to act, volunteer and donate. Cape Cod has more than 1,000 non-profit organizations doing vital work in diverse fields. Find one that resonates with you or create your own path. You can start today. Find the piece of trash that needs to be picked up, drop your loose change into a donation jar, visit a local nonprofit that has caught your attention. Or consider joining us for Seaside Le Mans on Saturday, Sept 8, at Mashpee Commons: Build the racetrack. Build a bike. Build a connection with your community.