Trailblaze Challenge is Make-A-Wish South Carolina’s beloved endurance hike program where big hearts come together for big steps to create hope for local wish families. Since 2015, individuals with all levels of hiking experience have conquered the challenge in a 28+ mile hike on the Foothills Trail and raised approximately $5M for South Carolina wish kids. This spring Make-A-Wish South Carolina is excited to offer a new journey on The Palmetto Trail.
The Palmetto Trail traverses the entire Palmetto State – South Carolina – just like our wishes do - from the mountains to the sea. We’ll be offering an Upstate hike, a Midlands hike and a Lowcountry hike. For the first time ever, hikers can start their wish-granting hiking journey at sunrise on the highest peak in SC and eventually end in the coastal marshes of the Lowcountry.
During this journey on the Palmetto Trail, hikers will be able to appreciate the rich diversity and fascinating history, culture, and geography of the Palmetto State. But even better, they’ll learn about our local wish children and how they bring the children hope, joy and strength to overcome trauma and stress. As a Trailblazer, hikers build South Carolina pride & community while being physically active and seeing the most beautiful parts of our great state in a way they never have before.
Make-A-Wish South Carolina’s mission is to create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Wishes are essential to helping children fight harder against illnesses such as cancer, blood disorders, nervous system disorders and transplants. The wish journey gives children something to look forward to and renew their strength to fight their illness and 95% of wish alumni felt more hopeful about their future after their wish according to the 2022 Make-A-Wish impact study.
Designed as a symbolic parallel journey to a wish child’s wish journey, Trailblaze Challenge is a premiere program for Make-A-Wish South Carolina enabling the chapter to grant 222 wishes last year – the most ever in a single year in the chapter’s history.
“Trailblaze Challenge is the largest revenue program at our chapter and that is all because of the dedication and support of its participants,” said Amanda Osborne, vice president of mission advancement for Make-A-Wish South Carolina. “We are so grateful for each and every person that takes a step on trail for wish kids. I am confident that we will again see a record number of individuals joining us on our newest journey in the program. Critically ill children are waiting on a wish, and they need these hiking stars to gain the hope and joy a wish provides."
The support of Trailblaze Challenge hikers has never been more important. On average, 400 children in South Carolina are diagnosed with a critical illness each year. These illnesses steal their childhood. We believe every child deserves a childhood. With the help of Trailblaze Challenge participants, sponsors, and donors, Make-A-Wish South Carolina can move one step closer to granting the wish of every eligible child.
Traditionally the Trailblaze Challenge has taken place on the Foothills Trail. Fans of our legacy program will be delighted to learn that that hike remains part of our program as our fall journey. But we are so excited to have this new spring journey available on the Palmetto Trail.
Recruitment for Trailblaze Challenge will be held January 3-14, 2023. If you’re interested in becoming a Trailblaze Challenge participant make sure you’re first in line to be alerted when it opens, by visiting sctrailblazechallenge.org to send us a request. You can also visit our site to learn more about the amazing program and sponsorship opportunities.
Learn more about Make-A-Wish South Carolina and other ways you can help by visiting wish.org/sc.
Make-A-Wish® creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. We are on a quest to bring every eligible child's wish to life because a wish is an integral part of a child's treatment journey. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness. The chapter receives funding through private donations, individuals, companies, and special events. For more information about Make-A-Wish South Carolina, visit wish.org/sc and discover ways you can help make wishes come true.
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