A couple years ago we had the honor of being a part of a brand new project through the Make a Wish of South Carolina called the Trailblaze Challenge. It’s a hike but not just any hike. This hike is 28.3 miles on the Foothills Trail in one day which is a challenge in and of itself. The second challenge was to raise money for Make a Wish Foundation.
Alex jumped in and was so excited to be a part of it. He went to most of the training hikes and was able to raise a good bit of money for the foundation. Right before their inaugural hike in 2015, he was approached by the foundation and was asked to photograph and video the hike. Even though he wanted to join his new found friends and hike the entire day, he knew this was a great opportunity to help Make a Wish of SC really tell the story visually.
So the morning of the hike, Alex and I jumped in the car with all our photography gear and headed up the mountain to the drop off spot. We got all set up and believe me it was “pitch black” setting up all that equipment. As soon as we had everything ready, the buses pulled in and all the hikers and volunteers jumped out, lined up, and the camera flash went off brightening up the entire area and capturing that very first moment of excitement. It really was an awesome moment!
The day was exhausting, running in and out of the woods capturing the emotion from the hikers as they reached each point however it was worth it all when they started reaching the last mile. The volunteers had hung pictures of the “Make a Wish” children on a tree as a motivator for them to finish what they had started. We saw tears of joy and excitement as each hiker crossed over the finish line.
The Trailblaze Challenge truly is an amazing event that challenges each person physically, mentally, and emotionally. Each year since that inaugural hike, the foundation has hosted three hikes (two in the Spring and one in the Fall). They have raised numerous amounts of money for those children at Make a Wish and have helped to make those wishes come true.