On May 27, 2018, Greg Arpante dipped his bicycle into Washington state’s Pacific coast and started pedaling east. So began his dual trans-US bicycle tour, a ride from Seattle to Bar Harbor and from Canada to Mexico. What was born as simply a personal summer challenge evolved to be a ride for a cause: a Pay it Forward fundraising campaign called “Greg’s Ride for Open Sky”.
Time spent in the wilderness has had a powerful impact on Greg and his close friends throughout their lives. Greg decided to devote his ride to raising money for others to benefit from wilderness experience. He discovered Open Sky while researching wilderness therapy organizations. He was immediately inspired by Open Sky’s family-centered approach and its commitment to nutritious food as a part of the healing process.
As Greg progresses across the country (twice!), his Pay it Forward Campaign raises money for Sky’s the Limit Fund (STLF), to be specifically earmarked for future Open Sky students. The mission of STLF is to transform the lives of youth in crisis by providing grants, support, and hope through wilderness therapy programs, family coaching and beyond. Grants given to families by STLF are then matched by the program partner; in this case, Open Sky.
Last month, Greg’s journey brought him near Durango, Colorado—the home of Open Sky’s main office. Open Sky staff had the opportunity to connect with Greg over some pizza, learn more about his inspiring endeavor, and thank him for his commitment to supporting individuals and families in need. Senior Guide Maggie presented him with a spoon she had carved from juniper wood and used in the field for 100 days. She cleaned it, oiled it, and passed it on to Greg as a token of gratitude and a tangible link to the work that he supports with every inch forward.
Click here to learn more about Greg’s Pay it Forward Campaign or make a donation to get him closer to his $10,000 goal. Remember that every dollar raised is matched by Open Sky and given to those in need of the transformative experience of wilderness therapy!