Today was the Walk and Roll for Hope which was celebrating their 45th anniversary! Hundreds of people came to a park in Anchorage to walk, run, and bicycle on three trails that spanned the coast near the city. We got up early to continue to prepare for the event at 7 AM this morning. The boys from the Alaskan Military Youth Academy also joined us with the final set-up. With the run starting at 9 AM, people started coming to the park at 8 AM. Participants could buy bright green Walk and Roll t-shirts, get free massages, receive certificates after completing the trail, take pictures with storm troopers, and enjoy complimentary hotdogs, water, and coffee. Wartburg students helped with selling t-shirts, writing certificates of completion, and serving hotdogs, water and coffee. A few students also walked down the trail for a little bit to experience the Walk and Roll.
“I just really enjoyed myself. It feels so good to give back.”
“It was such a good fundraiser because it brought the community together. How often do you think they get out into the community? There were so many people at the walk. Everyone was so friendly and just wanted to get to know everybody else.”
After the walk, we stayed to take down the tents with the military cadets and also bonded with them one last time. We took a group photo and almost had a rap battle and a dance off, but the cadets needs to be on their way.
Getting back to the house, everyone was exhausted. A few people had suggestions to hike or cook out, but no one had the motivation to get out of their seats. Finally, a few students mustered the energy to go to Walmart and purchase food for brunch tomorrow as well as supplies for a barbeque, s’mores, root beer floats, and chili dogs. The plan for brunch is pancakes and French toast with eggs and sausage. About half of the students stayed back at the house to journal and relax outside. With the WiFi still a problem, many gave up on connecting to the internet and left to enjoy the Alaskan environment, which is probably for the better.
After the group returned from Walmart, about half of the students went out to hike Rendezvous Ridge. After driving on a horrific washboard road that almost shook the van to pieces, we arrived at a muddy, snowy trail. After slowly starting out, the group broke into two groups to conquer a different peak. Some made it to the top while others did not; however we all enjoyed the trip. Once back at the house, people changed out of their wet, muddy shoes and prepared dinner. Everyone was ready to actually unwind and be done for the day.
(C) 2014. All photos are the property of Benjamin Bogard. All rights reserved.