Three GJ finalists in A’Ha Moments tour

Three people with interesting stories from Grand Junction were selected as finalists in the Mutual of Omaha’s A’Ha Moments Tour, and are now in the running to be featured in a national commercial.

The A’Ha Moments Tour visited Grand Junction last August outside of Mesa Mall. Locals were invited to share on camera the “moment that changed their lives,” inside an Airstream trailer that served as a mobile auditioning unit. More than 25 local residents volunteered to be interviewed and they were among more than 1,000 people filmed nationwide

Of those, John Lichty, Cathie Clark and Justin Nordine were selected to be among the 75 national finalists.

During the auditions, Clark said that being selected as a finalist would bring national attention to the Reach Out and Read Colorado program, which gives more than 600 books a month to children in the Grand Valley.

Clark said her moment comes every day, when she gives babies books as part of the Healthy Steps Program at Primary Care Partners.

“My moment comes when I give a 6-month-old baby a book and I see how their face lights up — and I realize that a baby can enjoy books long before they can talk,” she said.

Finalist John Lichty told cameras that he plans on pursuing his lifelong dream of sailing around the world. He presented a copy of a National Geographic that he has owned since he was 10 years old. In that issue, an article about Robin Lee Graham, who sailed around the world alone in the summer of 1965, served as inspiration for Lichty’s lifelong dream.

“I’ve always wanted to sail from that point forward,” Lichty said.

Being a finalist is flattering, Lichty said, and just serves as a way to hold himself accountable for following his dream.

He and his wife, Nan, and golden retriever, Scout, will set sail next spring. They won’t sail around the world in a straight shot, as Graham did, but plan on visiting as many foreign destinations while still moving forward in the next five years.

He said his video has a pretty good shot at winning the national commercial spot. “I think my chances are pretty good — mine stands out as a personal dream finally realized,” he said.

Justin Nordine is also competing in that category. His A’Ha Moment came when he realized he was unfulfilled as an art teacher. He left that career to pursue tattooing as a fine art and opened The Raw Canvas.

“People thought I was crazy,” he said, laughing in front of the camera.

All three videos can be viewed at the Mutual of Omaha’s site, or at — where the first round of online voting has begun. Voting ends Oct. 15 and those winners will move on to the next round.

Here are the direct links to the local contestants videos:




There will be 25 winners in the second round. Voting will take place Oct. 18-31. The top 10 winners will be featured in next year’s Mutual of Omaha’s national television campaign.




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