Make-A-Wish Alabama hiking to make dreams come true

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -  Make-A-Wish Alabama kicked off its Trailblaze Challenge Friday evening. The challenge is exactly what it sounds like: Make-A-Wish has organized a hike to help Alabama wish kids.

Trevor Trainer, chairperson with Make-A-Wish Alabama, said this is far from just a stroll in the park.

"The Trailblaze Challenge is more than just a hike, it's more than just a fundraiser, it's a combination of the two," explained Trainer. "It's an endurance hike, a one day hike of 26.3 miles on the Pinhoti Trail."

That means Huntsville hikers must physically train for the next 14 weeks. There are also groups in Birmingham and Mobile training for the big hike.

"We've got hike leaders that have designed routes on trails all throughout Alabama that we'll be visiting," added Trainer. "Every other weekend we're going to go out on group hikes, we're going to start with probably a four mile hike tomorrow."

Trainer said after Saturday's practice hike, the groups will push themselves to cover more ground every two weeks.

Trainer mentioned although Make-A-Wish is a national organization, it's important for Alabamians to contribute to their state chapter.

"Everybody knows the brand, and everybody sees a lot of commercials and things on television about make a wish across the country," explained Trainer. "But very few people realize that each chapter is independent of the others. Only money raised by that chapter, only money raised by Make-A-Wish Alabama is being used to grant wishes for wish kids here in Alabama."

Make-A-Wish Alabama hopes to fulfill close to 300 wishes with the proceeds from its 2019 Trailblaze Challenge.

Even if you're not up for a 26 mile hike, you can donate Make-A-Wish Alabama's Facebook page or the Make-A-Wish Alabama donation portal.