Hearts in Action: Climbing for CHaD

Holly Blanchard and Jake Horst
Jake Horst and Holly Blanchard at the top of Mt. Moosilauke.

One of the best ways to enjoy summer in northern New England is to hike one of its many mountains. In these times of physical distancing, you can get out and enjoy the scenery while also supporting Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD) by participating in Climbing for CHaD. Not only will you be rewarded with some amazing views from the top, but you will also feel good knowing that you are making a difference in the lives of children.  All it takes is a commitment to hike and a fundraising page through our CHaD Hearts in Action program.  Ask friends and family to pledge your steps, miles or sponsor you by mountain; and before you know it, you are ready for the climb! Challenge yourself to hike the presidential range, the 4,000 footers or choose your favorites.

Holly Blanchard, a member of the CHaD Community Relations team, and her boyfriend Jake Horst, have set a goal of climbing six of the 4,000 footers. “We've been wanting to take on the NH48 for a few years now and this summer presented the perfect opportunity to support CHaD kids while doing so,” says Holly.  “After researching the best mountains for beginners, we decided on Mt. Tecumseh, Mt. Hale, Mt. Moosilauke, Mt. Osceola, Mt. Jackson and Mt. Pierce.”  As of mid-July they have taken in views from the top of Mt. Tecumseh, Mt. Hale and Mt. Moosilauke. 

While half way toward her climbing goal, Holly has already passed her initial fundraising target. “Climbing these six mountains is roughly 33.6 miles so we set our goal to raise $50 per mile or a total of $1,680! The mental and physical strength it takes to accomplish these hikes can pale in comparison to what CHaD kids endure.” Holly was given a boost by LMC Charities, a non-profit student group, which raised $1,100 for Holly’s fundraiser through their own climbing challenge up Mt. Major.

Holly’s CHaD Community Relations colleague, Kathleen Procek is also spending her summer climbing for CHaD, with her own list of the 4,000 footers. “I decided to take on Climbing for CHaD as a fundraiser because I wanted to get out into nature. We live in such a beautiful area, and it is for a great cause. I have had the pleasure of working for CHaD for just about a year and a half and want to do what I can to make a difference for all the kids and families of CHaD.“ 

You can support Holly or Kathleen; or sign up for your own challenge.