A guest post from our extraordinary President & CEO Steve von Schenk:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
On Thursday, August 15, 2019, I made a second attempt at the Adirondack Great Range. For those who remember last year, my son Paul and I had planned to hike all 20+ miles in one day. We ended up needing to cut it short after eight of the 10 peaks were summitted.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
This year, I was determined to finish what I did not last year: All 10 peaks. It’s been labeled one of the toughest day hikes in America, according to Backpacker Magazine. Eight of the 10 mountains in the Great Range are High Peaks, the pinnacle of which is Mount Marcy (the tallest peak in New York State). In all, completing the Great Range entails 10,000 feet of elevation gain.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
For this one-day hike, we raised nearly $25,000 for Adirondack Trust’s Above & Beyond Challenge, which benefits the Addiction Medicine Program of Saratoga Hospital and its Community Health Center. All in all, over $130,000 has been raised since the Challenge’s inception.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
But this particular hike was about more than the generous donations, and it was about more than giving back to the community. This hike was also deeply personal.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
On October 6, 2018, my son Brian’s fiancée, Allison (Allie) King, 31, died tragically. She was a strong supporter of the Challenge, joining us on several hikes last year, and was a part of our family. Her spirit guided me as I rose at 1 a.m. the morning of the hike, and as I summitted all 10 peaks over the course of the day.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I am grateful for the time that Brian and my family had with Allie, and her memory lives on.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I also thank all my friends, family, colleagues, and community members who aided in my preparation through their donations and well-wishes. Thank you for helping to keep Allie’s spirit alive, and thank you for helping a remarkable program in our community thrive.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Whether it’s a hike in the mountains, or the road to recovery, as Chinese philosopher Laozi said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Here's an update of recent activity at the Ripley community garden. Things have been uncertain in the last few weeks because our funding came to an end. It's increasingly difficult to get continuation funding, and demonstrate the need, for this sort of small community project, despite the value it brings to the people who come along. Anyway, we've now had some great news, which I'll share in another post.
Some of these pics were taken on the hottest July day on record, so we were glad to be in the shade!
The area around the mosaic is nearly complete, with the wall finished and bark in place. Just a bit of weeding, then planting, left to do (plant donations - shade-tolerant ground cover in this case - always welcomed!). Oh, and the tomatoes are coming on well too!
I found these two gems at our community clothing exchange on Monday night! Gotta represent the green life 😍
We hope everyone who took part enjoyed themselves. We certainly had fun! I think we will organise more in the future, perhaps seasonally so we can avoid buying new each time 🤔 What do you think
I will update the website with event photos soon 😊
Legacy book launch last night was just what I needed to get out of my funk. I met Jody Ann Johnson and her colleague Doug Barra who both contributed to the book.
I shared my project and will be meeting quite a few of the attendees who are interested in collaborating with me or would like to help me. I'm so glad I went!
Last week we had a great first week at the Drive Project in Bovalley CA, RVRA and the Glens CA - the children were learning all about symmetry and designing their own symmetrical pet!!🐁🐈🐵🦁🦔 Here's just a few samples 🎨🖌️
For over two months, primary school students from the Wendouree community have explored ideas of identity in specialised, photography-based, art programs. Students worked directly with professional photographers and educators such as Rebecca Nicholandos to learn a range of new skills and photographic techniques. In doing so they created a dynamic series of images called Hello Wendouree / Hello Australia, which will be on display at Stockland Wendouree Shopping Centre. BIFB proudly supports artists of all ages 💛
With thanks to our friends at Stockland Wendouree.
CALL OUT FOR VOLUNTEERS || We are recruiting volunteers aged 13 and above to join us in this Home Refresh project on 28 September 2019!
‘ᴄʟᴇᴀɴ ᴀ ʜᴏᴜsᴇ, ᴘᴀɪɴᴛ ᴀ sᴍɪʟᴇ’ on seniors who are staying alone or together with an aged spouse/ flat-mate/ next of kin, in rental units.
For more infor/ register at http://tiny.cc/t1v9az (link in instag Bio)