The 24th Annual Peak Challenge
I’ve been on a much needed vacay in Cabo, Mexico. I realize that I neglected to mention this before taking off last week and left you all hanging. But, I trust you survived. Soon, you will hear all about the wonderful food from our stay in beautiful Mexico. Until then, I have something even more important that I’ve been meaning to share with you. The Peak Challenge!
In the fall of 1988, members of the Colorado Mountain Club, staff of Griffith Centers for Children, and individuals within the climbing community came together to create an event that would allow people to enjoy Colorado’s beautiful high country while raising money to help troubled children and families. The event was the Peak Challenge Ascent, a simultaneous ascent of all fifty-four of Colorado’s 14,000′ peaks on behalf of emotionally troubled children helped by the Griffith Centers for Children.
An amazing 400+ volunteers, leaders, and sponsors participated in the first annual Mountain Ascent, and Governor Ray Romer prclaimed September 17, 1989 as Peak Challenge Day. In 1992, Colorado history was made when all 54 peaks were climbed in a single day. In 1995, The Peak Challenge Mountain Ascent was expanded into a two-day event to provide a larger window for safe climbing in Colorado’s unpredictable mountain weather.
In recent years, the focus of the Peak Challenge has shifted slightly in an attempt to increase safety and lessen the environmental impact of the event. The emphasis is now placed on raising support for troubled children through the sponsorship of the peaks, rather than trying to put groups on every 14-er. On average, there are approximately 23 teams that climb each year as well as 7 non-climbing teams. This is the largest fundraiser for the Griffith Center. When times were good, economically, the event raised nearly $125,000. We need your help to get back to better days.
So, what is Griffith Centers for Children?
The Griffith Centers for Children’s mission is to provide troubled children the environment and opportunities to become healthy, participating, and productive members of society. For over 83 years Griffith Centers for Children has been providing hope to troubled children. With a wide array of services and programs The Griffith Centers for Children serves 1500 children and families annually from over 32 counties in Colorado and many other states. Griffith’s programs are licensed and nationally accredited to serve children from birth to 21 years of age. From our humble beginnings of helping orphaned and delinquent boys to our present range of nationally recognized and accredited programs.
Based along Colorado’s spectacular front range, Griffith Centers provide community programs such as family preservation, day treatment, education and counseling services. Griffith Centers also provides residentially based programs such as foster care, shared family care, respite services, adoption, group homes, residential treatment (staff secure and open) and independent living services. Today, Griffith Centers for Children are able to provide healing and hope to thousands.
The tough economic times have hit the Griffith Center as they have everyone. However, even in these difficult times the Griffith Centers for Children has found a way to positively impact children and families. Since the number of residential clients has declined due to governmental budget cuts, the Griffith Centers for Children developed a new prevention program of engaging with troubled families early to provide counseling and skill development (parenting, etc). The program is now working with over 300 families, and their success rate has been terrific! Ninety-five of the families in the program have been able to stay together (the kids weren’t taken from the family home).
The Peak Challenge helps to fund these programs.
This year, I will be doing my third Peak Challenge with the Avaya team. We will be hiking Mount Yale in the Sawatch Range near Buena Vista. Mount Yale is the 21st tallest peak in Colorado and the 5th highest in the Collegiate Peaks summiting at 14,200 feet. The peak will involve a 10-mile hike (round trip) and 4300′ elevation gain. While this is a longer distance than past years, the views of the surrounding Collegiate Peaks are breathtaking! Just ask anyone who’s summated a fourteeners and they’ll tell you the effort is well worth it!
How can you be a part of this year’s Peak Challenge and help Colorado’s children? The answer is: donate. ZINNRUNNER (and fellow climbers) are raising funds for the Griffith Center beginning now through the date of the climb on August 12, 2012. If you can, please support the Griffith Centers for Children and Peak Challenge with a donation. *In the “special instructions” field please enter “Peak Challenge, Avaya, ZINNRUNNER”.
From the Griffiths Center for Children and ZINNRUNNER- THANK YOU! For more on the Griffith Center for Children, click here.
HOW TO DONATE!
1. The Griffith Center uses the Giving First website to accept donations. Click on this link or cut and paste it into your browser:
2. On the left, you’ll see a green button that says “DONATE NOW to this charity”. Click on it. The website will guide you, but if you need further assistance read on.
3. A small screen will open and on this screen only two items must be updated:
- Enter the amount of the donation
- In the “special instructions” field please enter “Peak Challenge, Avaya, ZINNRUNNER”.
The other fields can be allowed to default.
4. After entering the information click on the “Save” button.
5. Next click “Checkout”. Then, after reviewing your donation, click “Proceed to Checkout”.
6. If you want to check out as a guest, select the “I want to checkout as a guest” radial button and click the “Click here” immediately underneath it.
7. Payment and Billing: Enter your credit card and Billing information. Click “Continue”
8. Review the donation information, and if ok click “I understand and agree to these terms” and click “Complete Donations”.
9. Community First Foundation will show up on your credit card statement as that is the company providing the service to the Griffith Center. 100% of the donation is tax deductible. A letter confirming the payment, along with the Griffith tax id will be sent after receiving notification of the donation. $0.91 out of every dollar donated goes directly back into the program.
Help us make this the most successful Peak Challenge ever!