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Mega walk for women planned

Local News 24 Jun, 2021 Follow News

Mega walk for women planned

Former Cayman Islands Crisis Centre Chair and board member Denise Powers is aiming to raise funds and increase awareness for the empowerment of women through an impressive walk early next year, undertaking the massive Pacific Crest Trail in America.

At the start of March 2022, Denise will commence her mission at a spot close to the wall between Mexico and the United States at Campo, California. She said she will be armed with just “a good pair of trail runners, a map and a backpack of survival gear”, and will hike through California’s backcountry desert, the Sierras, and the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington, ending in Manning Park, British Columbia, Canada, a 2,650 miles trail in total.

The hike marks the first in a series of challenges for Denise, which she has named ‘Project Further’ and which, she anticipates, will build awareness and raise funds for the empowerment of women. Funds will go towards issues such as working towards reducing domestic violence, sexual assault, sex trafficking, workplace inequality and the under-representation of female entrepreneurs. 

Denise said she was inspired to take on this huge challenge after meeting Cheryl Strayed, author of best-selling account of her own Pacific Crest Trail hike, Wild, who she met at the Power of the Purse fundraiser in 2016. After that meeting, Denise hiked three Washington sections (268 miles) of the PCT.

“It was an experience both incredibly demanding on the mind and body but also highly compelling in terms of the challenge, the amazing views, the connection with nature and the people she met along the way,” she stated.

Along the hike in March 2022, Denise will be accompanied by her friend Monica, who she met on the PCT in 2016. The women intend to walk 15 to 20 miles a day, taking a few side trips and periodic non-hiking days, she advised, while sleeping in a tent and “the occasional real bed”. Food for five to seven days will have to be carried between pre-planned supply stops. As for showering, the freezing lash of a waterfall may be the only option in between pockets of civilisation, she said. The women aim to reach Canada by mid-September 2022 before the snow. 

Denise said that while Project Further will launch in the Cayman Islands, it will hopefully continue to grow into further markets, raising funds for specific projects and raising awareness about the issues and working to create a violence-free and empowered environment for all women. 

“The goal of the PCT project is to raise US$1 million to build a new facility for the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, Cayman’s only women’s safe shelter,” she said. “The existing centre is a four-bedroom, one-bathroom house, that often accommodates more women and children than its 18-person capacity. While the shelter is homey and safe, it is too small to meet the demands placed upon it.”

One hundred per cent of the funds raised in this project will go to the CICC for the new shelter, she confirmed.

You can follow Denise’s progress on her epic PCT trek, see video interviews with fellow hikers, track the route, listen to podcasts, read the blog and enjoy spectacular images by following the various Project Further platforms. These are:

Website: www.projectfurther.ky

Facebook: @projectfurther345

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