The president of LawnAmerica, Tulsa, Okla., will spend four months this year hiking 2,100 miles to raise money for charity.
Brad Johnson was thinking recently about what he might do if he retired, and the first thing that popped into his head was to hike the Appalachian Trail.
The Appalachian Trail
stretches 2,100 miles from northern Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine, and sees more hikers quit than finish. Johnson, 56, plans to start in May, after his son graduates from high school, and finish well before Oct. 1, when the trail closes.
“It’s something I did all the time as a kid,” Johnson says of his time hiking in the Rockies as a child.
As part of the trip, Johnson is raising money for several charities, including Tulsa Habitat for Humanity, the Salvation Army and Young Life Tulsa. He is also seeking additional sponsors. His goal is to raise $100,000 – half as donations and half as matching funds from his own company.
Johnson says that he’s not worried about leaving his employees during the busy summer season. “If I’ve done my job right, they should do just fine.”
Besides, he says, he plans to leave the trail every few days to find an Internet connection, read reports and blog at www.at2010tulsa.com
. (Those interested can also visit the site to donate, and see vintage pictures of Johnson from back in his college days, hiking with buddies from Oklahoma State University.)
Donations are tax deductible, and customers who donate also receive a discount on future services.