Do you have what it takes to tackle these 6 extreme fundraising adventures?

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Xtreme Hike. Photo byTony Ulchar/Studio A Photography

Many non-profit organizations have adapted their fundraising methods to include extreme adventures such as hiking, climbing or biking. Participants sign up for challenging activities that require physical feats and sometimes a commitment to long-term training. Friends and family show their support to the cause with a contribution to the organization.

Think you’re up for one of these adventures? Here are six to try:

Over the Edge

Friends of the NASCAR Hall of Fame Foundation and The NASCAR Foundation test participants’ courage by asking them to rappel ten stories down the Embassy Suites Charlotte Uptown. A portion of the proceeds will support Special Olympics programs for children in the Charlotte area.

If you’re willing to give up a possible promotion this year, check out the “Toss the Boss” sponsorship option. Employees at companies can raise money to send their boss over the edge.

Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Camaro ZL1, will rappel for the first time on Sept. 25.

“This is such a cool way to be able to make a difference for the kids in our community,” he said. “As NASCAR drivers, we have the opportunity to do some pretty unique and different events – ones like this where we are able to help two foundations that make an impact on so many people are pretty special.”

Next event: Sept. 25 and Sept. 26, 2018

Find more info here.

An Over the Edge event. Photo by The NASCAR Foundation

The 2018 Fall Xtreme Hike for A Cure

Hike 30.1 miles in one day on the Appalachian Trail for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The program includes a three-month training program that starts June 23 and can be done individually or as a group.

This spring, participant Chris Raymond finished in record time, 27 miles in 7 hours and 16 minutes. Raymond, who has cystic fibrosis, was also the first one of the 75 other hikers to finish.

“The suffering on the trail is small in comparison to the challenges that most people with CF endure daily,” he said. “I don’t hike for myself, I hike for every person with cystic fibrosis who would love to hike but can’t. We need to continue to fight and donate to find a cure so others with cystic fibrosis can hike alongside of me.”

Next event: Sept. 29, 2018. Location: Tanyard Gap, through Hot Springs and finishing in Max Patch.

Find more info here and look for kick-off parties and training hikes on the Facebook page.

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Xtreme Hike. Photo byTony Ulchar/Studio A Photography

CF Cycle for Life

One-hundred and fifty cyclists will set out to ride 15-, 35- or 50-mile route options on Aug.18, 2018 to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Each year, they raise $100,000.

Alonso Grant will participate in his seventh ride this year to honor his late brother-in-law, Nico.

“I participate to help make my brother-in-law’s dream of helping kids with CF,” he said. “Nico’s battle with CF ended when he was 15. Ever since then I’ve been committed to making his dream a reality. I get on the bike and pedal whenever time and weather allow.”

Next event: Aug. 18, 2018.

 Find more info here.

Alonso Grant, righ. Courtesy of Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Climb for Conservation

Climb for Conservation was founded in 2012 to raise awareness and funds for wildlife conservation. More than 300 hikers have climbed mountains such as Mt. Everest Base Camp in Nepal, Gran Paradiso in Italy and Aconcagua in Argentina. Donations of more than $75,000 have been given to support wildlife conservation projects around the globe.

Jaclyn Leo is a financial services professional in Charlotte. Her first climb with Climb for Conservation was Peru’s Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in 2016. This year she’s hiking the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu at the end of June.

“I enjoy the mental and physical challenge of hiking the most,” she said. “It’s really cool to visit sites within the local ecosystem and see our fundraising efforts at work.” Kilimanjaro is on Leo’s 2019 bucket list and welcomes training partners. 

2018 events:

  • Mt. Elbrus in Russia is July 21–31. Prior mountaineering experience is required.
  • Mt. Rainier in Washington is Aug. 13-15
  • Brazil is Sept. 11-21

2019 events, dates to be determined:

  • Inca Trail or Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu
  • Mt. Kilimanjaro

Find more info here and on Facebook.   

Climb for Conservation Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2017. Photo by Jessie Halter

The Longest Day

The Alzheimer’s Association created The Longest Day Campaign to raise awareness of the people and caregivers dealing with Alzheimer’s disease. It’s a twist on the extreme adventure idea because participants design their own activity or event to honor or remember those with Alzheimer’s and raise funds for the organization. Last year, in Charlotte, the American Contract Bridge League held a day-long bridge game and raised more than $10,000. Later this month, a father and son team in Greensboro will paddle all day in their handmade canoe.

Events may be planned any time of the year.

Find more info here.

Tunnel to Towers Charlotte Climb

On Sept. 11, 2001, Stephen Siller, with Brooklyn’s Squad 1, strapped 60 lbs. of gear to his back and raced on foot through the tunnel to the Twin Towers, where he gave up his life. The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation was founded to honor this firefighter’s memory. The funds donated are used to build mortgage-free smart homes for the most catastrophically injured service members.

Volunteers climb 53 stories in the Duke Energy Center at 400 S. Tryon St. Kati Buckner is a yoga teacher and lawyer. She made the climb this year.

“Participating in T2T allowed me to connect with the Charlotte community, donate to a noble cause and get in a killer workout all at once,” she said. “We climb to remember the sacrifice of those who did not survive the attacks on 9/11 and to raise money and awareness for all the firefighters who work tirelessly to keep us safe.”

Next event: April 2019.

Find more info here.

Tunnel to Towers with Kati Buckner (left) and Lauren Lapoint. Photo by Wanda Koch


  1. These are awesome! I wanted to share an incredible fundraiser for our local chapter of Make-A-Wish, too! Make-A-Wish Central and Western NC hosts the Trailblaze Challenge each year, in the spring and fall. Participants take on a 28.3 mile hike in ONE day. The journey starts with a training program, and fundraising inspiration, and culminates in a weekend on the Foothills Trail (hiking through three states!) It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and raises funds to grant the wishes of LOCAL children with critical illnesses.

    Info meetings to sign up start now, and there’s more information at

    Thank you for getting the word out about all of these amazing causes and adventures!


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