Jesse Saperstein '04, who is hiking the 2,164 mile long Appalachian Trail to benefit a camp catering to adolescents ages 13-19 afflicted with HIV or AIDS, has sent an update on his progress as of March 29.
Saperstein writes “As of now, my Appalachian Trail hiking partner, Alex Stafford, and I have done 162.9 miles of the 2,174 and are currently holed up in Fontana Dam, N.C. By tomorrow morning we will set off to hike the Smokey Mountain range. The distance we have accomplished is only a drop in the bucket, although we have reached a major milestone that gives us hope for the future.
“At this point in the trail at least 2/3 of all hikers drop out of the trail. People are dropping off like flies all around us, but we are still here. The other hiking partner Alex and I started out with dropped out after only four full days of hiking. Then he rejoined us a few days later and dropped out again two days later. I do not think he is coming back!
“Another incentive to keep going is the fact the fund-raiser has raised over $12,000 dollars so far in only three weeks of the fund-raiser. By the end of the five-and-a-half months we are optimistic we would have reached our goal of raising $100,000 for Camp TLC – a camp located in Port Jervis, N.Y., which caters to young children who have HIV/AIDS. The camp is run by the Joey DiPaolo AIDS Foundation for one week a year.
“I will be forever grateful for the support I have received last year in my successful attempt to bring Joey and Carol DiPaolo to campus for an April 27 speech as well as the support I received even after my graduation last May. None of this would be happening without you. Thank you.”
Saperstein encourages all HWS students and faculty to keep in touch with him while he is hiking. He is posting his progress through the Web page www.hikeforAIDS.org. He also offers his e-mail address, SCIFY1903@aol.com, and his cell phone number, (845) 325-6152, for those who wish to contact him.
Saperstein was featured in the March 27 Poughkeepsie Journal article “Saperstein enlightened by hike on Appalachian Trail.”