Letter: Thanks for Stone House support

We recently completed our 18th annual Elizabeth Stone House Wilderness Heals pledge hike and want to express our heartfelt gratitude to all of the hikers, volunteers, team leaders and sponsors. Our goal this year was to raise $175,000. I am elated to share that we have raised over $200,000 to date, making this year’s event our most successful hike since its inception 18 years ago. We could not be more grateful.

After months of physical training and fundraising, 44 female hikers set out on their three-day journey in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. We hiked for hours and miles, on regular trails and unmarked routes, dedicating our efforts as a way to inspire and support the families of the Stone House while raising important awareness that homelessness, violence and abuse cannot be tolerated, accepted or silenced.

A heartfelt thank you goes out to all of you who supported the Elizabeth Stone House by giving a pledge in honor of these women (including another teenager) who joined me and my stepdaughter Courtney by trekking in the Whites. Together, we not only conquered challenges, but made lifelong friends and continued to make this unique event one that is meaningful for both the participants and the Stone House. Participants feel deeply connected to Wilderness Heals and to the Stone House mission. They have come to serve as some of our most powerful voices in raising awareness and funds.

The compassion and community support we received is truly overwhelming. This support enables the Elizabeth Stone House to help families rebuild their lives from the devastating effects of domestic violence, homelessness, substance abuse and mental health struggles. It’s important for people to know that 100 percent of every dollar raised goes directly toward the work of the Elizabeth Stone House. These funds enable the Stone House to continue to provide vital services to families in Greater Boston, including an emergency shelter, training programs and transitional housing.

Funds were raised from hiker pledges, hiker events, a pledge challenge and several fundraisers. Corporate sponsorships covered 100 percent of the cost of running the event. Corporate sponsors included Natixis, which provided nearly $40,000, and Novartis, which supported the effort with $2,500. The Stone House is grateful beyond measure for this extraordinary support. Many hikers return year after year and we are always looking to entice new friends to participate in this amazing event. So mark your calendar for next year’s hike—July 18-20, 2014.

Erika Whyte

Wilderness Heals Event Coordinator

Elizabeth Stone House


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