West Kootenay Take a Hike program raises funds with snowshoe event

Take a Hike, an alternative education program, is inviting West Kootenay residents for a moonlight snowshoe at Red Mountain.

An alternative education program is inviting West Kootenay residents for a moonlight snowshoe at Red Mountain.

Take a Hike, which provides an alternative education option for at-risk youth, is holding its first annual Moonlight Snowshoe event at Red Mountain on Thursday, Feb. 9, 6-9 p.m. Funds will be raised through registration fees, $25 per person, and each participant will also be responsible for raising $100.

“Some people just choose to pay the additional $100 themselves, up front as their donation, because any donation that’s over $10 receives a charitable tax donation receipt,” explains Karen Waldal, West Kootenay community engagement manager for Take a Hike. “So some people just pay up front, other people are sort of doing a 10 for 10, so they ask 10 of their friends to donate $10.”

Participants can also choose to become a monthly donor to cover the $100. Take a Hike hopes to raise $10,000 through the event.

During the evening, snowshoers will be led on an experience-level-appropriate trek by guides from Kootenay Snowshoeing and Fat Bike Tours. Take a Hike students will also accompany each group, and will talk about their experiences with the program and answer questions.

“To be in a setting like this and to be able to hear the students talk about their experiences and how they’ve grown, and the positive change that has happened for them, is really quite an inspiring evening for people,” says Waldal.

To prepare for the trek, Take a Hike students are heading out to the snowshoe trails as part of their outdoor recreation in January.

The event will also include dinner, live entertainment, a silent auction and prizes.

“We’re very hopeful for our first year that we’re going to be able to have people come out and join us and support a really good cause,” says Waldal. “And all of the funds that are raised for this stay right here in the West Kootenays for the Take a Hike program.”

A Moonlight Snowshoe event has been run by Take a Hike in Vancouver for 11 years now, but this is the first time the event has been held in the West Kootenay.

“This is our very first year to put our very own Kootenay flavour and Kootenay spin on it,” says Waldal.

To sign up as an individual or as a team, visit takeahikefoundation.org or facebook.com/events/101346570367390.