DENVER — For the past few months, a group of nearly 40 hikers has taken to the Foothills and mountains around Denver each weekend to test their stamina and build their skills.
On Aug. 14, they’ll put their training to the test as they embark on a one-day, 23.7 mile arduous journey covering two sections of The Colorado Trail. The journey, which is the third annual Trailblaze Challenge Colorado, is a fundraiser benefitting Make-A-Wish® Colorado proudly supported by Denver7.
Each Trailblaze participant raises a minimum of $2,500 in donations. The goal for the 2021 Trailblaze Challenge is $150,000, which is enough to grant life-changing wishes to 20 Colorado children who have critical illnesses.
The hikers signed up for the Challenge in late spring and have participated in a program that includes group training hikes and individual workouts as well as clinics and coaching from experienced hiking coaches. The group will come together at a hotel the evening of Aug. 13 and be bused to the trailhead in the pre-dawn hours of Aug. 14. They’ll be cheered along the day-long route by volunteers and supporters before being bused back to the hotel, where they’ll enjoy a victory breakfast the morning of Aug. 15.
Several of the hikers have experienced the power of a wish granted by Make-A-Wish first-hand and view the Trailblaze Challenge as a way to give back to the nonprofit that provided hope and joy to a loved one.
Among the hikers is Tami, the mother of a nine-year-old boy who battled cancer. Make-A-Wish Colorado granted Tami’s son’s wish to go to Walt Disney World when he was four years old, and now she wants to pay it forward.
“A wish like the one my son received lets a child be free and happy and allows a family to bond and create treasured memories,” Tami said. “That’s so important when you are battling an illness, and I wanted to do something that would help give another family that same life-changing experience.”
The community can help support the hikers and Make-A-Wish Colorado by visiting www.trailblazechallengeco.org and clicking on “make a donation.” Or support Tami directly by giving to her personal fundraising page at site.wish.org/goto/tamarahart21