Congratulations to the 2016 winner of our Top Hiker gear prize, Leland McKeeman. Leland raised more than $16,200 for mental health research and trail conservancy with his 2016 Georgia-to-Maine HIKE for Mental Health. In fact, he raised a lot more, because he also supported a couple Canada-based charities on his Footsteps for Mental Health thru hike of the AT as well, raising more than $11,000 for them!
The gear package, worth more than $1,200, was generously donated by our 2016 sponsors: Leki, Hennessey Hammock, Sealskinz, Sierra Designs, Lightheart Gear, Princeton Tec, Vasque and Zpacks. The gear goes to the hiker who raises the most money through their HIKE for Mental Health by November 30 of the award year.
Thank you, Leland, and congratulations on completing your AT thru hike. The contributions of your supporters will help to fund break-through research to deepen our understanding and find better treatments for depression, PTSD, schizophrenia, bipolar spectrum disorders and other major mental illnesses. Your support also help the ATC and the PCTA in their important work maintaining thousands of miles of wilderness trails.
We also thank the runners up in the 2016 contest. Maya Macdonald raised $10,690 on her AT Maine to Georgia thru hike and Daniel Ralston raised $7,286 on his PCT hike.
Stay tuned here for announcements about the 2017 prize opportunities.