BRUNSWICK — Bob Dunfey, volunteer race director for The Maine Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay, announced that Teens to Trails is one of three primary beneficiaries of this year’s event which will be held on Sunday, Oct. 4. Teens to Trails will receive a $20,000 donation from the event.
Teens to Trails’ mission is to connect high school students to life-changing outdoor experiences by offering leadership training during the school year, access to exceptional trips, outdoor gear and transportation funds.
“Teens to Trails is thrilled to be part of the 2020 Maine Marathon. It will be an honor to join the race planning committee, invite members of high school outing clubs from around the state to volunteer on race day, and cheer on all the participants. And as a primary beneficiary, funds that we receive will get Maine’s high school students outdoors. Teenagers are losing their connection with nature at an accelerated pace, yet experiencing nature with peers is critical for teenage development,” said Teens to Trails Executive Director Alicia Heyburn.
The Brunswick-based non-profit helps high schools across Maine establish and sustain outing clubs that provide inclusive, non-performance based outdoor experiences to break down social barriers and build lifelong habits of wellness. The recent Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey found that 31 percent of Maine high school youth are either overweight or obese, 32 percent have felt so sad or hopeless that they stopped doing some usual activities and 45 percent have tried vaping products. A growing body of research indicates that spending time in nature with friends can counter these trends and build resiliency in kids.
The Maine Marathon organized by the Maine Track Club is a volunteer driven, nonprofit event with proceeds going to local Maine charities. Since 1997, we’ve donated over $5.2 million to charity. Over 50 volunteer race coordinators plan the event during the year and about 900 volunteers deliver the event on race weekend.