What began as a solo, 147 day, Appalachian Trail adventure with bears, bugs, blisters and hilarious food cravings, has become an annual fundraising source for Sunshine, a home for the developmentally disabled in Maumee, Ohio.
When Jeff Alt embarked on his AT journey to raise funds for Sunshine, he didnít know that his journey would spark the creation of an annual event. Altís brother Aaron, who was born with Cerebral Palsy, is a Sunshine resident. During Altís inaugural AT journey, supporters in Toledo walked in solidarity with Jeff, marking the first annual event. The event has now grown to over 400 walkers and runners netting over $225,000 for Sunshine. Altís story is told in an award winning book, A Walk for Sunshine and was released as an audio book on June 5th, 2012.
ē Altís original walk, combined with everyone who has walked, run or rolled for Sunshine brings a grand total of 12,450 miles traversed. This proves that when you put one foot in front of the other, you get a lot of steps in the right direction.
Alt inspires audiences with stories from A Walk for Sunshine; including humorous and hair raising animal encounters of sleeping with a skunk, being charged by a bear, chased by a bull, eating lunch next a rattle snake and more. You learn how he ate a large pizza as a snack, a dozen donuts before breakfast; and still lost 30 pounds. Alt shares hiking tips and profound lessons he learned from his journey such as:
ē Why everyone should go after their dreams now!
ē How humor can help you overcome adversity.
ē How celebrating the simple things can get you through tough situations
ē Why we should introduce kids to the outdoors at the youngest of ages because computers are replacing the backyard and childhood obesity is becoming a national epidemic.
On September 8th, 2012 we will celebrate 15 years of walking for Sunshine. Alt continues to help host this family oriented Walk, 5K Run & Roll. All proceeds are used to help fund programs and services for the people served at Sunshine. For more details go to: http://www.sunshine.org/2012/03/2458/