Mary Pat's Fundraising Page
$1,726.00 raised
$2,500.00 goal

“It’s not about trying to get back to what you were. It’s about trying to be the best of what you’re capable of today, this minute. The most gratifying thing is the moment when you see someone realize they’re going to make it, when you see the fear disappear and they realize how awesome they truly are!” Robyn Benincasa, Founder Project Athena Foundation     

This April (4/28 -5/1), I will be taking a 2-day, 50-mile adventure with women survivors of medical or other traumatic setbacks.  These women have trained for months to build the strength and endurance to live out their dreams of a physical adventure.  The women are sponsored by the Project Athena Foundation. This non-profit foundation provides travel expenses, coaching, equipment, and most importantly, the encouragement and inspiration needed to help these strong, amazing women make that life-affirming transition from Survivor to Athlete.   


I became familiar with their mission through its founder, Robyn Benincasa.  I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Robyn, in her role as an award-winning motivational speaker.   Robyn is a World Champion Adventure Racer, 3x Guinness World Record kayaker, San Diego firefighter, and a 10x Ironman triathlete. Sure, that is impressive (and intimidating) but her most difficult challenge was coming back from the devastating diagnosis of stage-four osteoarthritis in both hips. The degenerative joint disease forced this lifelong triathlon competitor to give up racing altogether. But after four hip replacements in just five years, Robyn found it was not the setback, but the comeback that made the difference.  She created the Project Athena Foundation as a way of rebuilding her spirit and the spirits of women like her. 


To participate, I commit to train for 16 weeks and meet certain training milestones.  So far, I have finished week 7 and put in over 100 miles on trails. Training includes hours of weighted GPS-tracked hikes EVERY WEEK, as well as plenty of cross training. All the hard work and sweat and sore muscles will be worth being a part of an incredible adventure that can empower women who have already endured so much.


Along with the training, I have volunteered to raise $2,500 to support an Athena on this 3 day adventure. Many parts of this journey are pushing me outside my comfort zone, but asking for donations is particularly difficult for me. I can tackle the training, but I need your help to meet the fundraising goal. Every dollar donated goes directly toward helping these survivors achieve their adventurous dreams. A (tax-deductible) gift from you - small or large - will help and is really appreciated.  Also, I welcome any encouragement with my training.  Needless to mention, if you are looking for a walking partner, I am available!      

Thank you for reading this and for any support you can give. Donating through this website is simple, fast and totally secure. And whether you donate or not, please check in on this page occasionally. I will post training pictures as well as pictures, videos, and stories from the trek. 


Many thanks, Mary Pat


Photos & Videos
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  • Anonymous made a $25.00 donation
  • Mary Vassalotti made a $25.00 donation

    #shepersisted. I thought this hashtag fit your endeavor. good luck!

  • Anonymous made a $50.00 donation

    Love it that you're sharing your amazing strength with others. it's what you do!

  • Kathy Hughes made a $25.00 donation

    Well done Mary Pat, from Kathy Padraig Sean and Anna x

  • Elizabeth Finley made a $25.00 donation

    What a wonderful experience! Enjoy!

  • Mary Furio made a $25.00 donation

    Glad to help. Best of luck to you!

  • Gayle Mancini made a $25.00 donation

    Enjoy the journey!

  • Brian And Shawn Jensen made a $50.00 donation

    Good Luck Mary Pat. Great cause and Super Effort. Way to Go!

  • Pamela Self made a $100.00 donation

    Good for you Mary Pat! I hope this will be as rewarding for you as the people you are helping.

  • David Larkin made a $250.00 donation

    Mary Pat: We are so proud of what you are doing and marvel at your stamina. Great job. Love, The Larkins

  • Patti Arends made a $25.00 donation

    Good Luck Mary Pat!!

  • Sharon Paff made a $100.00 donation

    MP, what a terrific cause! Wishing you all the best and can't wait to hear all about this adventure.

  • Kathleen Salantri made a $50.00 donation

    That's a lot of walking! You go girl! Lots of love JIm and Kathy

  • Patricia Bohn made a $20.00 donation

    Good Luck!

  • Cynthia Kennedy made a $25.00 donation

    Sounds like a great cause. Have fun, Mary Pat!

  • Nina Handeland made a $25.00 donation

    You are amazing!

  • Kathleen Gill made a $100.00 donation

    You continue to amaze me!!! What a wonderful cause!

  • Elissa Salantri made a $10.00 donation

    that's amazing! keep on climbing <3 Elissa and Brady

  • Karen Moss made a $100.00 donation

    You got this Girl!!

  • Wendy Borst made a $50.00 donation

    What an adventure for a great cause! Good Luck!

  • Carol Wagner made a $36.00 donation
  • Ben And Lori Miller made a $100.00 donation
  • Regina Strobel made a $50.00 donation

    MaryPat - love your determination!!!! Will be thinking of you -Good luck!

  • Theresa Gralinski made a $25.00 donation

    Good luck Mary Pat! I can't wait to hear all about your adventure!

  • Karen Sharp made a $25.00 donation

    Good luck to you Mary Pat. I think it's great you are achieving such an amazing goal.

  • Brendan Miller made a $25.00 donation

    Have fun in California! Miss you!

  • Robyn Suerth made a $100.00 donation

    Good luck Mary Pat, I will be thinking of you! Robyn

  • Paul Miller made a $200.00 donation

    You have put tremendous effort in training and preparing for the walk. You have inspired us. So proud of you. Love you: Paul, Brendan, Briana

  • ken and laura miller made a $25.00 donation
  • Marie Boyden made a $25.00 donation
  • Anonymous made a $10.00 donation
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