WALLINGFORD — Hiking in 90-degree heat and occasional pouring rain through 185 miles of Appalachian Trail terrain, a local CEO has helped to raise about $35,000 for a local homeless shelter.
Chris Ulbrich, CEO of Ulbrich Stainless Steel and Special Metals Inc., hiked a portion of the Appalachian Trail for 25 days to raise money for the Wallingford Emergency Shelter. The “Ulbrich Trek to End Homelessness” campaign set a goal to raise $20,000 and Ulbrich agreed to add $10,000.
“People have been very supportive of me and the mission of raising money for the homeless shelter,” Ulbrich said.
Columbus House Chief Development Officer John Brooks said the total amount raised was $34,419, which included Ulbrich’s contribution. Columbus House, which runs the Wallingford Emergency Shelter, had a website dedicated to the fundraiser. Although the trek is complete, the organization is still receiving donations.
“We’re just elated,” Brooks said. “The fact that Chris put up his funds and challenged the community to join him. It’s not easy to trek in the middle of summer. Chris did it and he inspired a lot of people.”
Ulbrich said he started his journey with 36 pounds of hiking gear and 11 pounds of water. He hiked alone most of the time, but family, friends and coworkers accompanied him during some of the journey.
Ulbrich tracked his experiences on the trail by posting photos and video through his Instagram page.
“We did good,” Ulbrich said. “The community really stepped up.”