We have a grand total! As of the end of August, through everyone's generosity, the amount raised for 2010 was $14,769.04!!!!! So far this year the program has helped almost 350 families in some way. Welcome bags are given to the families when they arrive - the bags have information for families, coupons, and other small items to try and make the experience a little less overwhelming. Some families have been supported by having nights in a hotel provided. The amount that was raised this year could provide around 150 nights! We are so grateful to everyone who participated this year. You've helped to take a little bit of stress away from a parent whose child is hospitalized. You've helped a wonderful hospital continue a program that means so much to everyone. And you've helped to pay it forward by taking one step at a time up a mountain. Thank you to everyone and we can't wait to see what happens next year. We will post information around the end of this year as to the plan for next summer. Hope you all can join us again!
Lots of love from the Hunter family.
Hiking For Hearts 2010
See below for the grand total raised this year.....
First day of hiking. We had 16 people total, all spread out along the route. This was my first year climbing (last year I was not in shape enough to do this and I stayed in town to help with the BBQ.) It was really interesting how the day went from a newbie's perspective. Everyone started off on the beginning of the trail together but then started to peel off and go at their own paces. Even though everyone was clumped off into small groups, it was like playing leap frog. A few people would stop to catch their breath and another group would stop to chat and then pass on. Then that group would stop and another would come up. I spent my first day stopping with almost everyone, having a snack, drinking our water, sometimes chatting, and sometimes just walking in a silent camaraderie. Chris and Don moved around either taking the front or helping to bring up the rear. We spent a little bit of time at the summit, got pictures, and then decided the clouds were starting to move in so we needed to get going. Boy, we picked the right time to get down as it started to spit pea sized hail at us once we were at the bottom. There was also some impressive gray clouds and thunder. But all in all it was a very memorable time and although the bodies were hurting, the smiles were huge. At the end of the day we loaded up and headed down to the town of Alma where Chris's Mom and our son Noah met us with the feast from Heidi's. We were all so famished and we made quick work of the wonderful food.
Day 3 of hiking. We had 22 people hiking this last day. Some camped the night before and enjoyed a feast of roasted hot dogs and S'mores over a roaring fire, while some drove up before the crack of dawn the following day. A few people were unable to make it due to sickness and we missed having their company (yes you, Matt and Joe!!!) It was somewhat different this day. The weather blew in a little bit of chilliness and a whole lot of wind. We were in shadows most of the morning and that amped up the cold factor. It felt like we were on a ledge some of the time once we got closer to the top. Bross's true summit is closed to the public so we only hiked up to the public access sign, which by that time we were chilled enough that we were fine with that stop point anyway. It was too narrow to get a group shot at the top, and being the third day it seemed some of us (okay, maybe just me) were moving a little slower and we were pretty spread out. I thought for sure the trail was longer than Democrat and that we'd be back at the bottom around noon. When we descended I asked someone (smarty pants Andrew) what time it was and he told me it was only 10:30! I had a hard time understanding that because it felt like we were climbing forever. Stacy from The Children's Hospital brought up the Heidi's feast and got it set up. I was so glad to see the food and get some ice water. :)
Day 2 of hiking. There were 14 people hiking today. The weather was pretty nice - clear up until noon and then the clouds rolled in and stayed for the entire descent, but there was no moisture. The climb was longer and a little more difficult than Democrat due to the steps being bigger and the length itself. The trail starts off going at a pretty significant incline so the work begins immediately. But the same as day 1 with everyone in good spirits. I brought the food up this day and met everyone at the trailhead and set things up. Another great feast! A coworker of Chris's Mom provided huge Red Delicious apples that were so good and refreshing. Thanks Joanne!! I tried to get pictures as people were coming down and I know I missed a few. But here are some pictures from the hikers that day along with some from the end.
I was, and am, proud to have been a part of this year's Hiking for Hearts 2010. I met so many amazing people and was inspired by them all. We had people ranging in age from 10 to 66 and quite simply everyone was my hero. Thank you all for your support, your hard work and efforts, for taking the time off of work to come join us, and for being so positive in your endeavors. I look forward to hiking with you again next year and to keeping the friendships that were forged. Bless you for helping to keep The Welcome Program at The Children's Hospital alive so that other families can receive the support during their times of hardship. We will continue to update this page with new pictures as they come in and by the end of the year we will post the information for the 2011 hike. Here are some other pictures from the time up there. Love to everyone.
Chris and Stephanie Hunter