Michael Falduto wrote -
The purpose of this fundraiser is to raise awareness and money for those suffering from mental illness. One in four adults suffer from mental illness which impairs their ability to function in ordinary life. Unfortunately, my family and I have experienced this illness through close friends and understand how devastating its effects can be. I want to do something about it and a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail is an excellent opportunity. I need your help, though.
The slightly more selfish purpose of this fundraiser is to keep me accountable as I hike 2,190 miles from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachian Trail. Are you willing to bet that I can finish to benefit a great cause? Go ahead and wager an amount per mile...I dare you. Any donation (in any form) is welcome and ALL proceeds will be donated to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). You can find out more about this great organization at NAMI.org.
I will continually update the fundraising page with pictures and mileage so you can track my progress (I will also be maintaining a journal of my trip here on the Trail Journals website: www.trailjournals.com/dute). My start date is March 26, 2016 in Amicalola Falls, GA.
The Appalachian Trail stretches through 14 states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia. Though this year it is 2190 miles, it continuously changes in length due to trail relocation each year: 1937 - 2,054 miles; 2003 - 2,172.6; 2005 - 2,174.9. The Appalachian Trail became a continuous trail on August 14, 1937. The Civilian Conservation Corps completed the final link of the Appalachian Trail in Maine. Earl Shaffer became the first to report a thru-hike in 1948. The Appalachian Trail was selected as the first National Scenic Trail in 1968. For some more interesting, fun facts about the trail visit here: http://appalachiantrials.com/21-fascinating-appalachian-trail-facts/