Anika and Caroline with their families hike for GoHawkeye

Anika and Caroline with their families hike for GoHawkeye

October 20, 2021 Off By Hawkeye Johnson

The day long 10.9 mile hike through the high alpine above Telluride, Colorado was completed on Wednesday, August 25, by the 15 year old friends, Anika Parr and Caroline Didden, during their summer vacation. This years annual event for the GoHawkeye Youth Development Fund was a grand success raising over $7,000 to help kids with disabilities enjoy adaptive sports.

Caroline, Hawkeye, and Ani out on the fundraiser trail near Telluride. Courtesy photo.

This event benefiting disabled athletes was founded by Anika when she was nine years old. She was inspired by Hawkeye’s fundraising through long distance hiking. Each year Ani and her friends Caroline Didden, Taylor Danielson or Helena Burger have taken time out of their vacation to do a fundraiser hike. Since its’ inception, the GoHawkeye Youth Development Fund has raised over $20,000 for adaptive equipment and experience grants for youth.

“Ever since my first hike for GoHawkeye when I was in the 4th grade, I have always found the cause to be unique and something I am able to connect with. Making sure that as many kids as possible, despite their abilities and financial situation, are able to pursue and enjoy mountain sports is something I feel very strongly about. I hope that by raising money for this cause every year I am able to make a small impact on people’s lives and enable them to enjoy the sports I enjoy”

– Ani Parr

Ani’s parents Soni and Greg commented, “Working with Hawkeye over the years has been a gift to our whole family. He took nine year old Ani under his wing and gave her a unique chance to make an impact on the lives of other children. We love that she has gotten her friends involved which beyond having fun has raised awareness and increased contributions for this cause.”

“We are very proud of Ani’s sustained effort over the years and are grateful to Hawkeye and his organization for providing her with this opportunity.”

-Soni and Greg Parr
Ani and Caroline reach the high point on their 10.9 mile fundraiser hike to benefit the GoHawkeye Youth Development Fund. Courtesy photo.

“The hike was extremely challenging, but the beautiful scenery and the encouragement of Ani and Hawkeye kept me going. My favorite part was when we reached our top elevation of 13,000 feet and were able to stop for a moment and take in the amazing views. I am so grateful to have played a small part in helping the GoHawkeye Foundation. Everyone, regardless of their abilities, should be able to enjoy the outdoors and the sense of peace and relaxation that it brings being out in nature.”

-Caroline Didden
Ani and Caroline. Courtesy photo.

The hike on a wonderful day was in two stages with family and friends walking the first 3.5 miles. At the junction, the group headed toward the town of Telluride while Hawkeye and the girls continued on the longer, more strenuous trail. The weather continued to be delightful and the trail was challenging as the girls pushed Hawkeye to the finish. They were all glad to see the finish but had a lot of fun and satisfaction in accomplishing their goal and are already planning next years fundraiser hike.