Littleton High School student, Charlie Walker, has his sights set on making his second Sunrise Ascent on Mt. Washington this year on August 4th. While you may know others who have summited Mt. Washington, Charlie’s ascent of the high peak is a feat unlike any other. Charlie is a survivor. He survived an in-utero stroke and was born with Cerebral Palsy and epilepsy. But he does not let this stop him from enjoying the outdoors and living an adventurous, active life. Blessed with a positive, can-do spirit—along with an infectious smile—Charlie and his family will be hiking the 7.6-mile Mt. Washington Auto Road on August 4th as part of the 10th Annual Anthem Sunrise Ascent on Mt. Washington, a unique and inspiring event to benefit Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country (ASPNC) and its mission to enrich the quality of life for people with disabilities through year-round opportunities for sports, recreation, and wellness. Charlie will be supported to the summit by a team—Team Charlie—that includes family, friends, and community members, all of whom are hiking to raise funds to make sports, recreation, and wellness available to people of all abilities.
Charlie’s mother, Kellie Walker, shares that “Charlie has amazed us in his 16 years of life; brave, courageous, and always positive. The Sunrise Ascent on Mt. Washington is an amazing experience that we all get to enjoy together, forming life-long memories. We are so grateful to use this opportunity to raise funds for an amazing organization that does so much for so many people.”
ASPNC Executive Director Thomas Shovlin, a member of Team Charlie last year, states, “this event truly exemplifies the spirit of ASPNC. The challenging climb demonstrates that anything is possible with a strong support system and teamwork. Being a part of Team Charlie last year was an incredible experience. Charlie’s positivity and excitement fueled our team all the way to the summit.”
This year is a milestone year for the Sunrise Ascent, celebrating its 10th anniversary. There are 15 adaptive athletes, including Charlie, making summit attempts. Some athletes are assisted by a team of “mules” and others make the ascent unassisted. This event typically raises one-third of the operating budget for ASPNC and ensures the organization can carry out its mission. With support growing every year, ASPNC hopes to continue that trend and raise enough to fund adaptive equipment purchases and fund its plans to continue to grow its reach and impact in our North Country communities. This year’s Sunrise Ascent is sponsored by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Hampshire, Bank of New Hampshire, Noyle Johnson, FLIR Systems, Franconia Gas, Turtle Ridge Foundation, Tender Corporation, and Walker Motor Sales.