Many of us at Alpine Shop can still remember John Roth, the OTA’s founder, walking into the upstairs offices at our old Webster Groves store in 2002 and 2003, discussing plans for his vision of the OT and the organization he was founding.
Alpine Shop helped design the first maps the OTA gave out. We helped introduce the OTA in a full-page ad in our 2003 Spring Swap Guide when almost no one knew what the Ozark Trail was, let alone an organization created with the sole purpose of finishing its creation and maintaining it.
Alpine Shop used its first Patagonia environmental grant to support the OTA in 2004 in a presentation during the intermission of the Banff Mountain Film Festival. At that festival, we announced and recruited the first of what would become the Spring OTA Mega Event. Throughout the years, the Mega Events have grown bigger and now include working with many of the Shop’s brands to come up with more than $12,000 in give-aways, auction items and donations each and every year.
For some multinational business that might not sound like a lot, but we’re a local business. “Local” is a vital part of our DNA. We do everything we can to transform our little slice of world here in the Midwest into a better place. Alpine Shop’s vision states that we strive for “Generations Transformed by Discovery Outdoors.” We believe that experiencing the outdoors fundamentally changes each and every one of us.
This is why the OTA is so dear to Alpine Shop. It’s a part of our creed to be a “Local Business Helping Local Organizations Transform Our World.” What better example of that is there than our relationship with the OTA? By transforming the Ozark Trail into the premiere trail throughout Missouri, the OTA has provided the perfect opportunity for generations of Missourians to transform their lives in the local beauty of the Ozarks.
So, this weekend, as nearly 200 people work to complete another section of the Ozark Trail, we send out and open invitation for a new generation to transform themselves in the discovery of this gem right in our own backyard.