Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Return of Standing Bear

Last year I hosted a remarkable, real time series following Mike McLaughlin, aka Standing Bear, as he hiked the Appalachian Trail to raise money for his children's charity.  On September 3, 2012 he completed his goal and in the process raised thousands of dollars for kids.  We were all so proud of him and what he accomplished.

Last Sunday Mike embarked on his newest adventure and again gave me the honor of following along and documenting his journey.  I couldn't be more pleased or excited.  Here's a recap of what Mike shared with me as he was literally rushing out the door....

I will be gone for six weeks, and plan to climb the 48 four thousand footers in New Hampshire with my wife Brooke and a couple of MBA students from my school (they'll be doing about 15-20 of the 48 during the final week of the trip).  But in addition, I will be hiking the Long Trail in Vermont.  The Appalachian Trail and the Long Trail run concurrently for 105 miles, so I have decided to hike the 168 miles of the Long Trail which does not run concurrent with the AT.  So at that point I will have completed a section hike of the Long Trail.  If I have any time left over, I'll climb some of the four thousand footers in the Adirondacks.
I have had flags made for several youth organizations that I'm supporting and will be taking a photo with each flag at every summit.  I plan to make a video montage for each organization with all the summit photos, so that they might use the photos in their fundraising efforts. 
Remember the students I said will be joining me for the final week?  One of them, a student named Abhi from India, said he came to my school after hearing about Hike4Kids.  He too wants to help children and he has been instrumental in our service events the past year.  He told me he'd like to climb Everest with me for kids, but since that's out of our price range we're going to temporarily settle for Mt. Washington and the rest of the Whites   :-)
Also, I will be bicycling across the U.S. in January and February and speaking at schools and youth agencies along the way.  I won an international award from the GMAC (TeamMBA) a couple weeks ago and a lot of business schools asked the GMAC if I would speak at their school.  Plus, I have had interest from other groups, so I am going to speak at different venues as I bicycle across the country.  I'll be biking the Southern Tier route, starting in San Diego and heading to Florida.  
This trip is technically a fundraiser, although I haven't explicitly asked for money like I did last time.  I didn't want people to feel pressured, as my main goal is to raise awareness.  I'm hoping the organizations for whom I'm displaying flags can use the photo montages I create to help them raise money from their existing donors.  But if people would like to donate they can donate directly to the Family Resource Center or to Marygrove (their choice) either through the Unite4Kids website or the Hike4Kids website.  I think the Hike4Kids website might only have a donation link for the Family Resource Center while Unite4Kids has both.  We are rushing out the door in a few minutes otherwise I would check. 
You can also visit the Hike4kids FB page  or the Unite4kids FB page for more updates and information.  Please visit his blog to read Mike's post before he left.  You can also search through my blog for posts on Standing Bear to read about his adventures last year.
Keep going Mike - we're behind you!


  1. Oh looking forward to this. I followed a man the blogged as he hiked the PCT until he had to quit cause of his feet but I loved it.

  2. How interesting. I think the couch potatoes among us (me) always think that people who do these great athletic feats love every minute, so it was an eye opener that Mike talked on his blog about hurting all over and wondering how he would get moving again. There really is no excuse not to be active. But I suppose I'll keep looking for one, lol. :)


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