SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -"Hup, two, three four" will be the chant when Slippery Rock University students join the sixth annual "Hike for Hope" project in conjunction with the University's Center for Student Involvement and Leadership and Community Service Corp. The hike from SRU to Point Park in Pittsburgh is April 19-21.
"So far, about 60 students have expressed an interest in participating," said Corey Gens, a geography major from Ashville, Ky., and Hike for Hope leader with the service corps.
The hike is designed to raise money, awareness, and provide a chance for students to put themselves in the shoes of young African children being affected by the Lord's Resistance Army, Gens said. "Money raised goes to Invisible Children, a non-profit organization that aides young African boys and girls who are trying to escape the viscous LRA," he said.
"These young African children will often walk for weeks on end from town to town trying to escape these malicious armies. The Hike for Hope was adopted in 2008 to symbolize this atrocity," Gens said.
"For the hike, we end up walking 55 miles from the SRU campus to the Point Park in downtown Pittsburgh. We spend the nights at churches along the way," Gens said.
"We walk to our first church in Butler on the opening day, about 17 miles, then continue our journey in the morning. By nightfall, we will reach our second church in Allison Park, about 25 miles from the first stop. Then on the last day, April 21, we finish the last leg of our journey to Pittsburgh, about 13 miles," he said.
"Only $25 was raised the first year and zero out of the three hikers completed the hike. But, $800 was raised the second year, and two out of the four hikers made it. The third year, 11 hikers out of 14 made it, and $2,950 was raised. The fourth year, 18 hikers out of 28 hikers made it, and $4,122 was raised," Gens said. "Last year, 17 out of 36 hikers made it all the way to Pittsburgh and raised $3,274."
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.