Flashback to the week of March 8, 2020:
-The World Health Organization declares the corona virus outbreak is a global pandemic.
-Hundreds of schools and thousands of businesses close.
-Wall Street suspends trading twice and on Thursday, the DJIA drops 10%.
-The MLB, NBA and all NCAA sport seasons are canceled.
-Music concerts and special events are being canceled around the country.
-Friday the 13th, it suddenly hits home. Our April Rebild conference is canceled.
Having spent months helping plan this event and looking forward to welcoming so many to Arizona, I was stunned by the news. Soon, events were canceling daily across Danish America. The following week, I canceled the family tour I was leading to Denmark. Everyone was in lockdown…isolated at home.
During the lockdown I took to the hiking trails near my house in north Phoenix. For many years I have been an avid hiker; it was so good to get out of the house and stretch my legs. On one of those hikes, I started thinking about backpacking a trail that has been on my bucket list a long time…the Colorado Trail. From Denver to Durango, it winds its way for 500 miles through some of the most scenic mountain landscapes in America. I thought, “This is the time.”
Climbing the trails has always brought me inspiration. As I ambled along, drafting my Colorado Trail itinerary, it hit me, “Why not make this a fundraiser for Danish America?” I brought the idea to the rest of the board of the National Foundation for Danish America: Katrine Vange, Linda Steffensen, and Karin Wasler. They agreed and helped plan it. Now it’s set.
COVID-19 has taken its toll on us in many ways. Danish American organizations have been hard hit financially with event cancellations, and they see their revenue and funding sources beginning to dry up. We would like to help turn that around. Together, we can all make an impact.
It’s simple… First, pick your favorite Danish American organization. Next, pledge either per mile, or for a set amount for the entire hike. When I complete the trip, we’ll send you a notice, post it on Facebook and on our website. Finally, you send your pledge directly to your favorite organization. They receive 100% of the proceeds.
Until then, I’m getting ready, hiking as much as I can! Starting June 29, we will share the fun by posting progress reports, photos and videos from the trail to our website and Facebook page. I should arrive in Durango, Colorado in mid-August, six weeks and 500 miles later.
Won’t you please make a pledge? Your favorite Danish American organization needs your help! Find the link to the pledge form at www.DanishAmerica.org then, follow the “Hiking Viking” on the Colorado Trail!
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