Lewiston man kicks off hike-based fundraising event

Lewiston’s Kevin Morissette climbs to the top of Lost Valley in Auburn for his 46th time in 10 hours on November 20, 2020. Morissette was aiming to cover 24,725 feet of elevation gain in 36 hours to raise money for Tree Street Youth. Daryn Slover / Sun Journal File

AUBURN – Last year Kevin Morissette climbed to the top of Lost Valley over 100 times in 36 hours.

He aimed to climb the ski mountain 118 times, an elevation gain roughly equivalent to Maine’s 14 4,000-foot peaks combined. Although he fell just short of his goal, he hiked over 40 miles and raised $ 1,000 for Tree Street Youth, a Lewiston-based nonprofit.

Inspired by this experience, he created the Maine Summit Trek Fundraiser, a shortened version of the 36-hour open-ended challenge, which will take place in Lost Valley on October 16.

Lewiston’s Kevin Morissette is raising funds through his Maine Summit Trek event on October 16 in Lost Valley to benefit the Tree Street Youth program. Daryn Slover / Sun Journal File

This year, Morissette’s fundraising goal is $ 5,000. He hopes to help offset the costs of Tree Street Youth’s outdoor activity programs and, ideally, be able to provide a small backpack or other basic hiking gear for the kids to take with them.

“(Outdoor gear) isn’t cheap, and neither is it cheap to get to these places,” said Morissette, referring to the recreational trails. “Not many people can, especially people who come from different backgrounds and are struggling financially or for whatever reason.”

Morissette, 42, started hiking four years ago. He was inspired to pursue his own outdoor adventures after watching Netflix documentaries.

For Morissette, hiking is about challenging yourself. He started with Bald Peak and since then has hiked all 14 4,000-foot peaks in Maine and 34 of 48 in New Hampshire.

“It’s a different sense of space when you’re out in nature, and I think it opens people’s eyes. I know it did it for me, ”he said.

His “improvised” fundraiser in 2020 was based on a similar event in Vermont that challenges participants to climb 29,029 feet, the altitude of Mount Everest, in 36 hours.

“I was like, ‘if I could do it again, wouldn’t it be great if I could start younger and be able to keep going? “”

In the future, he hopes to expand the event from four hours to 36 hours.

Maine Summit Trek will be held at Lost Valley in Auburn on October 16 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. in conjunction with the Lost Valley Fall Festival. Participants will be challenged to climb to the top of the ski mountain as many times as they can during the four hour period.

Registration costs $ 20 and each participant will need to raise at least $ 100 for Tree Street Youth.

You can find more information about fundraising at runsignup.com.

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