Local youth part of three-person team heading on 88-km trek for charity

 

Alex Turner2By Ron Giofu

 

Three youths – including one from Amherstburg – started to plan a camping trip in Algonquin Park but that has turned into something much larger.

Alex Turner of Amherstburg, along with friends Jeff Tessier of Windsor and Stewart Coreliss of Collingwood, comprise the Infinitam Trek Team that will be taking part in an 88-kilometre hike through the entire Western Uplands trail at Algonquin Park. The three Grade 12 students not only are doing it out of a love for the outdoors, but they are also raising money for the Baobab Foundation, which Turner said is “dedicated to raising awareness and funds for educational resources towards transformational youth programs in Africa which helps give a voice to the youth and provide a holistic, multi-level approach to transform schools.”

The three friends are all cadets in their respective corps, Turner being a member of the Fort Malden #202 Army Cadet Corps in Amherstburg, and they met through various cadet camps. They stayed in touch through social media and decided late last year to organize a camping trip that has since swelled to the 88-km trek through Algonquin.

“Between the three of us, we have 15 years of expedition experience,” said Turner.

They plan to hike 12 hours per day starting March 28 and cover the 88-km trail in two days. They will carry at least 40 pounds of gear with them including tents, snowshoes, clothing and other necessary equipment.

“This is the most distance we are going to cover in the shortest period of time,” said Turner. “We’re going to train up until the moment we leave.”

Turner added they are preparing for all types of weather and noted the trio has trained in both cold and hot weather while in cadet camps.

“We’re pretty much prepared for this,” she said. “We know what to expect.”

Turner, Tessier and Coreliss also hope to raise $2,000 for the Baobab Foundation and also have to pay for their trips to Algonquin Park, the latter costing in the range of $300-$400 per person.

“It occurred to us if we could do it for a good cause and a charity, it would make it more of an experience for us,” noted Turner.

The $2,000 would help give youth in Africa the same sort of opportunities students in North America have, she stated, and it would help the foundation give support and a voice for youth in Africa.

“We like to give back as a team,” she said.

They are seeking donations and are holding fundraisers, with one such fundraiser being a youth dance at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Amherstburg Feb. 21. That event is designed for Grades 5-8 and will be $5 at the door with pop and chips inside. It runs from 7:30-10:30 p.m.

Turner added she is also running a coin drive at General Amherst High School in an effort to raise funds. The trio is also gaining support from a number of different companies including Daily Adventurer, Movers Clothing Company, Teton Sports, TraceTrek, Icebreaker, Outdoor Adventure Training, and Ausangate Socks.

“It’s a great cause,” said Turner. “We’re trying not to let anyone down. It’s the trip of a lifetime. It’s a really big event for us, planned by the three of us.”

Tessier, through Turner, added they are trying to “stay stoked” for the trip with Turner stating that has become a motto of theirs.

They are also promoting the trip through social media and their website. People can follow them at www.crodrise.com/infinitamadventure or their Instagram page at @infinitramtrek. People can also contact them for information or to donate at westernuplands@tracetrek.org.

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