Kenai Peninsula businessman Denis Douglas began walking the 1,100 mile Iditarod Trail Feb. 17. "The Power of One: Walk for a United America Iditathon 2002," is a fund-raiser to help support the people who were impacted by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the East Coast.
Douglas walked the Iditarod Trail 10years ago trying to raise money to cover a friend's cancer treatment. He raised approximately $10,000 with the help of the Kenai Firefighters Association.
This year, 85 percent of proceeds from his endeavor will support the Leary Firefighters Foundation Fund for New York's Bravest -- to support efforts of New York City Fire Departments and the families of those who died in the attacks -- and the Twin Towers Orphans Fund -- to provide for health, education and medical needs of children who lost one or both parents in the attacks.
The rest of the money raised will remain in Alaska to promote local fire prevention and education programs, to assist in improving the training and safety of emergency responders and to provide scholarships to area high school students. A portion of the money also will be used to offset the out-of-pocket expenses of the walk.
Douglas plans to complete the walk in less than five weeks, walking up to 30 miles per day.
The effort is sponsored by the Kenai Firefighters Association and the Association of School Business Officials. The Kenai Firefighters Association has established a fund with the Kenai branch of Alaska USA Credit Union to accept donations in support of the walk.
Donations can be mailed to Iditathon 2002, care of Kenai Firefighters Association, 105 S. Willow St., Kenai, AK 99611. For more information, call 283-4557 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to individual and corporate donations, Douglas also is seeking support from emergency workers nationwide. Firefighters, police officers and other emergency responders are encouraged to send two department patches or hats with a $100 donation. Each hat or patch will travel a portion of the walk with Douglas. One will be returned with a certificate commemorating the walk.
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