I climbed Katahdin and made my road trip back to Springboro, Ohio over 11 weeks ago. During the past few months, I have been transferring my journal from my hand-written chicken scratch to a Word document… it ended up encompassing 112 pages (single space – 11 font). The transfer of my journal was so much fun for me. I revisited (emotionally and mentally) each camp site and through my mind’s eye reflected on the trail, my fellow thru-hikers, and the special adventures that filled my days. As I result of this “second” walk through the AT, I have been silent on my blog.
Let me share some of the exciting opportunities that have filled my return to civilization. After a weekend of relaxation and catch-up with my family, I was welcomed back to Dayton Christian with two amazing parades (one at each campus). The students and teachers were so encouraging. Then I had an opportunity to be interviewed twice by local television (one on the school site and the other in the studio). I was invited to share about my hike with the students at both campuses during chapels as well as in a couple of individual classrooms. I also was interviewed by a local Christian radio station. What a thrill it has been to share the excitement of my thru-hike with so many.
I have been in contact with REI regarding the possibility of sharing my story in the Columbus and Cincinnati stores. The initial response was favorable but the dates will most likely be in the spring of the year. I will post the dates as soon as I know them and hopefully many of you will be able to attend. I have also been in contact with a number of my hiking friends and established some Facebook connections. One fellow thru-hiker, Ungerwhere, has already paid me a visit in Ohio and was able to share his story with the seniors at the Dayton Christian campus.
The fund-raising portion of my hike will be ending at the end of this calendar year. So far, the gracious giving of others has totaled $34,428. I would love to see that total hit $40,000 prior to January 1st. If I am able to offer $2,186 scholarships per family ($1 dollar per mile of my hike), I would be able to help 15 students attend the school system. In order to help 20 families I would need $43,720 and to provide scholarships for an average class of 25 students I would need to raise a total of $54,650.
The scholarships will be provided for the 2015-2016 school year and I will be absolutely thrilled to help as many families (preference given to middle income, alumni families) as possible. Please prayerfully consider an end of the year gift to Hike It Forward. Just go to the Support Tab on the blog site for directions to make a tax-deductible contribution. Be sure to designate “hike it forward” on your contribution.