By Loren Payne
This spring, the Trailkeepers of Oregon launched our very first “hike-a-thon” style fundraising campaign. This campaign, dubbed the Trailkeeper Challenge, was centered around inspiring folks to engage their communities in spending time outside the ways they enjoy most.
Participants, called Trail Champions, could sign up for one of three categories: hiking, volunteering, or hours spent outside. After creating their own personalized fundraising page, Trail Champions logged their miles hiked or hours spent doing their outdoor activity from May 1st to National Trails Day on June 3rd. As they recorded their adventures, Trail Champions engaged their communities and encouraged them to donate in support of trails by pledging a donation per mile hiked or hour spent outside that the participant completed.
The Trail Champions got more than just quality time outside, too! Every person who raised over $200 received a limited-edition Trailkeeper Challenge t-shirt, the winner of each category won an Arc’teryx Beta AR Jacket, and the overall winner went home with a prize pack from our partners including an REI Half-Dome Tent, 2 Trail 25 Packs, 2 Flexlite chairs, 2 Nalgenes, and 2 beanies. Now these awesome Trail Champions have the gear to have more fun and safe outdoor experiences!
These Trail Champions and generous donors provided TKO with funding to continue work constructing, maintaining, and advocating for trails across Oregon! Thank you to our wonderful community for your continued support, and congratulations to our winners! Read on for quotes from each of our top Trail Champions.
Renee P., who topped the hiking category, comments on her love for hiking:
Terry O., an amazing long-time TKO volunteer who won the volunteer category told us about finding TKO after retirement:
Last, but certainly not least, is our overall winner Kat M. who remarked:
And we feel equally honored to have such a wonderful group of folks supporting TKO and Oregon’s trails. Here’s to the first ever Trailkeeper Challenge and a fun and safe summer season!