Las Vegas, as it is today in 2019, with its two million residents, forty-two million annual visitors, sophisticated hotels, and trillions of dollars of wealth, exits because of VISIONARIES who saw what the barren desert could be transformed into.
Brett Torino is that kind of man, a visionary who has put an enormous amount of time, money, and backbreaking physical labor, including his own, into transforming forty-four dry, dusty, desecrated acres in the majestic Spring Valley Mountains and wild backcountry of Lovell Canyon, on the south side of Mount Charleston, into a stunning oasis with two lakes, hundreds of waterfalls, and thousands of trees, plants, and flowers.
Brett is also a compassionate, generous man, who has always loved kids. He became active in philanthropy in his early twenties with the Boys and Girls Club. Twenty-four years ago, while developing the Lovell Canyon property, Brett opened it up to the Boy Scouts, as well as the Metropolitan Police Department, who brought teens who had committed a misdemeanor, whose records would be expunged if they participated in Metro’s Youth Intervention Program.
Then nineteen years ago, the ranch became and still is a sanctuary and nature’s playground for thousands of chronically, or critically ill or disadvantaged children between the ages of five and seventeen, who spend a few days every summer having the time of their lives; forgetting, if only briefly, the challenges they face.
Though most of us can’t achieve what Brett Torino has, we can, each in our own way, make the small place in the world we occupy a better place.
Brett shows by example that we can transform ugliness into beauty and grace; chaos into order and peace; neglect into love and nurturing; and ignorance into wisdom and gratitude.
Brett doesn’t do things to impress others. He does them because they speak to his heart and nurture his soul. Perhaps the story of how the Torino Ranch evolved into a place of such importance to children in need will inspire others to take some form of action.
Helping others is an intoxicating elixir, and a worthy cup to drink from.
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