Friday, February 26, 2010

Clara Hughes is a True Champion

Today is a day of note for the Take A Hike Youth At Risk Foundation.

This program is very near and dear to me and I am excited to pass on great news that is directly impacting them. Clara Hughes, Canadian Olympic bronze medalist, and the only Olympian in history to medal in both the winter and summer Olympics, announced that she is donating her entire $10,000 bonus from the award to the Foundation!

Take a Hike is an alternative education program that engages at-risk youth through a unique combination of adventure-based learning, academics, counseling, and community involvement ( You can learn more about Clara's decision to contribute in this morning's Vancouver Sun (page A15):

This is an incredible kick off to Take A Hike's upcoming 10 year anniversary celebration and ongoing efforts to ensure the Vancouver-based program continues to thrive and grow well into the future. It is only through the generous donations of individual and corporate donors that they are able to continue offering opportunities to at-risk youth to turn their lives around.

In Clara's own words, she feels that sport saved her life. For many of the youth involved in Take A Hike, the program is literally the only thing that is keeping them off the streets, off drugs, and in school. Graduates have gone on to achieve their goals in ways they never believed would be possible, nor available to them, prior to becoming part of the program.

As the Foundation embarks on their growth strategy to see Take A Hike expand into additional communities beyond Vancouver, I urge you to consider making a donation to this very worthy group in honour of Clara Hughes' incredible achievements as an Canadian Olympian and avid support of the program (

Clara embodies everything about the Olympics that I find truly inspiring. To be frank, all of us with Take A Hike are beside ourselves today with her generosity and the exposure that her contribution has shed on the program.

Thank you, Clara. You are a true champion, in every sense of the word.


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