Josh Auger is helping make sure Manchester moves in a positive direction
"I do love this city," said Auger. "This is where I was born, and this is where I'm raising my own family. Manchester is home."
Auger, 33, is a lifelong resident of the Queen City. A member of the Manchester Central High School Class of 1997, he has put down roots in the city with his wife, Sarah, and son, Julian, 2. That's why when he's not busy putting in the hours at his job as a sales executive at McLean Communications, he volunteers his time to several causes, giving back to the city that has given him so much.
"I think it's only natural to want to improve your home, to make it better," said Auger. "So many things in life are out of our control, but getting involved in the community and volunteering to help others is a natural way to ensure that we keep moving in a positive direction, to make things better. It's a way that every one of us can take some ownership of our community."
Auger, who has coached soccer at St. Joseph Regional Junior High School for 11 years, volunteers as a member of the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of New Hampshire's Resource Development Committee, whose members advocate in New Hampshire's courts for the best interests of abused and neglected children.
Auger helped establish and organize the annual Wild Rover Celtic Festival, a charity-driven celebration held in Manchester every September. The event begins with the "Half Way to St. Patrick's Day" 5K road race, which drew over 1,200 runners last year. One hundred percent of funds raised from the festival benefits the St. Baldrick's Foundation, which funds research to find cures for childhood cancers. Since 2008, Auger has helped raise over $47,000 for the foundation.
"I first became involved with St. Baldrick's in 2006, shortly after my mother was diagnosed with cancer," said Auger. "We thought it might be a good idea to pair the St. Baldrick's fundraiser with the already established Half Way to St. Patrick's Day Road Race, and the Wild Rover Celtic Fest was born. We had no idea what to expect, but the turnout was great. We realized that this event had the potential to grow and be something special for Manchester, and we've been working toward that ever since."
Auger said he is inspired to volunteer because he wants to have a positive impact on people's lives.
"I worked for years as a teacher and I really enjoyed it," said Auger. "Teachers have a unique opportunity to take an active role in their students' lives and really help them learn and grow. You realize that you're making a positive difference in someone's life, and that's a great feeling. When I decided to move on professionally, I still wanted to hold on to that feeling. I wanted, in some small way, to be a force for good, to do something to make a positive impact. Working with CASA and the St. Baldrick's Foundation, organizing the annual Celtic Fest, and coaching are ways for me to accomplish that."