When I started to seriously think about this hike, I didn’t want to burden myself with the expectations of others, so I deliberately didn’t set out to get sponsorship to benefit a great local charity of which I’m a proud Board Member. I would have been mortified to have accumulated a bunch of money for the charity that was contingent upon me crossing the finish line and for me not to have made it beyond the Georgia border!!
However, that changed recently when a British pal of mine doubted my ability to follow through and finish the hike. He told me that, if I made it to Katahdin, as planned, he would give me $1,000 to benefit the Family Partnership Center, based in Bradenton, Florida. At dinner with this pal and two others last week, the figure is now up to $3,000, so I can’t hold off any longer.
The Family Partnership Center is a child abuse prevention center that focusses on the parenting skills of the mothers and, in some cases, fathers, of at-risk children. They have terrific programs, run by amazing, dedicated women, that literally save kids’ lives and allow them, and their parents, to become productive members of society. Studies have shown that, by teaching families good parenting habits and keeping them together, society not only gains worthwhile individuals, but also saves $10 of cure for each $1 of that early prevention. Government funding for programs such as ours is, short-sightedly in my view, being reduced, so we are all finding ways to help raise money and fund this stellar organization. I urge you to visit FPC’s website at http://www.familypartnership.org to learn more.
Consequently, I have decided to start “The Last 2,000 Miles” campaign, which will officially begin once I pass the 185.3 mark on the trail. From my guidebook, this seems to be at Mineral Gap, just under 5,000 feet up in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At that point, and assuming that none of the 400-600 bears in the park have got me by then, I will feel confident enough in my ability to finish, as I’ll only have 2,000 miles to go. It also makes the math terribly simple, so if you could sponsor me for a penny a mile, that will make $20, with a nickel a mile making it $100. With my dinner friends generous $3,000 equating to $1.50 a mile, I’d really love to get to $5 a mile to be able to hand over something lasting and critical for this important work.
I think we can all agree that children, wherever they are, deserve to be safe and loved, so let me know on the form below if you’d like to commit to this challenge and together we’ll really be able to make a life-changing difference.
Thanks very much indeed.