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Learning Together Announces Hiking for the Stars

Local Man Hikes Appalachian Trail for Children of All Abilities

(RALEIGH, N.C.) — Learning Together, a private nonprofit that meets the developmental, educational and health needs of children of all abilities, is proud to announce the creation of Hiking for the Stars, a fundraising event to raise awareness for children of all abilities. Tommy, a local Habilitation Technician, will attempt one of his life dreams as he tackles all 2178 miles of the Appalachian Trail while raising funds and awareness for Learning Together. Tommy has set a fundraising goal of $35,000 for his hike.

“I have always dreamed of combining my love for hiking with my desire to give back to my community,“ Tommy said. “Hiking the Appalachian Trail while fundraising for Learning Together will allow me to combine my love for the outdoors with my passion for helping children with special needs.”

Raised in a family that taught him to appreciate the beauty of nature, Tommy joined the Boy Scouts and found himself often on camping trips across the East Coast. He completed his Eagle Scout project in 2006, earning the highest level of recognition in the Boy Scouts of America. After graduating from North Carolina State University in 2010, Tommy began working as a Habilitation Technician for people with down syndrome and autism, engaging them in fun, exciting and educational opportunities.

Nell Barnes, Executive Director at Learning Together, said: “only one of every four registered “thru-hikers” actually completes the entire trail and we are thrilled to work with Tommy to fulfill his dream while raising funds for children of all abilities. Tommy’s unique adventure demonstrates that everyone can reach their goals and dreams with hard work and dedication.”

“There are mornings when you will wake up and you do not feel like walking anymore, but for me, those mornings will be combated by knowing that there are children back home waiting for me to finish for them,“ Tommy said. “Their smiles, their energy, the difference that I know this hike will make for them that are what will make me get up and keep walking.”

Tommy leaves at the end of March and it will take approximately five months for him to complete the trail. For more information on Tommy, visit his website at www.learningtogether.org/hikingforthestars or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hikingforthestars.

About Learning Together:
Learning Together is a private 501(c)3 nonprofit located in Raleigh, North Carolina that meets the developmental, educational, and health needs of young children of all abilities. Learning Together has provided learning and growth opportunities to children for nearly four decades. Learning Together operates three vital programs to families of young children in Wake County: Developmental Day Care Center, Community Program, and the Child Mental Health Initiative. For more information about Learning Together and our programs, please visit www.learningtogether.org.

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