Frozen Otter for Homeless Vets!
THIRD Annual Frozen Otter Trek!
In 2014, a team of brave men took on the Frozen Otter trek, completing 144 miles between the 4, and raising $12,000.00 for homeless veterans staying at Housing4OurVets in Janesville, WI. In 2015, another brave group of Rockstars took on the Frozen Otter, completing 112 miles between the 4, and raising almost $22,000.00!
They're back again!! ...and, the team intends to become part of the Frozen Few this year! Joel Galvan (3rd attempt), Nickolas Brockley (2nd attempt), Rob Phipps (Rookie), Ross Silvers (Rookie), and Jared Rahberg (Rookie) will be sacrificing the body and mind to raise money and awareness for the homeless veterans crisis in our own community!
The Frozen Otter Trek is a 64 mile hike through snow and ice, while exposed to the bitter January temperatures of Wisconsin. (Each participant must attempt the 64 on their own!) To make the trek even more trecherous, participants must tackle the glacier imprinted terrains of Kettle Moraine State Park within 24 hours, with a pack of survival gear. Only 25% of the 125 particpants complete the toughest race in the Midwest-the trails get lonely after the third checkpoint (24 miles) as 50% of the people typically bow out.
Housing4OurVets is a 48 bed residential facility for homeless veteran's in VISN District 12-we serve all of WI, parts of IL, IN, and MI! Currently, about 40 of our 48 beds are occupied. Veterans can stay for up to 24 months, and case managers assist them in getting back on their feet by addressing the issues that have kept them homeless via individualized case management plans. Please visit our website, Housing4OurVets.org to see more about this wonderful program!
If the Rock Valley Frozen Few can lace up their boots, wade through the snow and ice, with a 50 lbs pack, in the frigid temperatures in Northern WI for homeless veterans...can you pledge their journey?
Rock Valley Community Programs, Inc. recieved a $200,000 grant earlier this year. (2015) This kicked off our Long-Term Housing project renovation capital campaign; to date, we have raised almost $575,000.00, or about 80%, of our $725,000.00 goal. ALL of the money raise will be applied to this long-term housing project renovation for veterans who successfully complete our transitional program.
RVCP will renovated an empty wing in our current facility to provide 24 single room occupancy apartments for veterans completing our 24-month transitional housing program. Often times, it is difficult for veterans to find affordable housing to transition too, while maintaining access to necessary supportive services. We believe that this project will address the lack of affordable housing and supportive services available for veterans in our community
Why they are doing it?
Joel Galvan: When these brave men and women enlisted in the various branches of service; they wrote a blank check to this country and to its citizens. They took an oath to stand tall and protect this Nation in the face of any and all unforeseen dangers, foreign or domestic. These Warriors knowingly and willingly risk everything to ensure that our Nation may sleep without concern. Our Nation’s Warriors have little to gain with respect to personal benefit or reward and are often scarred or damaged after their service has ended. The unfortunate truth is that many experience intense personal struggle when transitioning back to civilian life. Our Veterans may never feel whole or complete again, but if competing in this race can help raise funds and awareness that will support this transition than I will be happy to compete every year. It is the very least I can do.
Rob Phipps: I am completing in this 64 mile race to raise money and awareness for homeless veterans because I believe this country spends to much time and money helping others in need instead of focusing there time and money on issues here in America. We send aid and finial support all over the world without fixing the issues we face here. So if by me attempting to complete a 64 mile race I can help even house one individual vetran for a short time I am more than happy to do so.
Ross Silvers: Having been a homeless veteran myself and using some of these same programs, raising awareness for our veteran’s in need is of utmost importance to me. The struggles our veterans face today are very real and we need to do everything in our power to make sure that the men and women that fought for us are taken care of when they need it most. Running in the Frozen Otter will allow me to give back to a community that is so very near and dear to me. Without programs like these I am terrified to think where I might be, it is the very least I can do to help serve our veterans one more time.
The weather expectations for the weekend have gone from bad...to worse. The risk anty has gone from: My body hurts and I'm a little cold, to: life threatening cold.
Please consider a donation. They are willing to take a huge risk to raise money and awareness for homeless veterans.
Last night, they all got emails from the Otter Trek: (This email also increases the weight of their packs dramatically)
Subject: Race Update - Extreme Conditions
As I'm sure you're all aware, we are going to have a truly frozen experience at this year's Frozen Otter. With temperatures forecast down to -7F with up to 15MPH winds, we will be requiring the additional extreme weather gear. All required gear will be checked at check-in, so be sure you have all your questions answered prior to showing up with potentially unacceptable gear. Please read this email in it's entirety.
What this means -
1. You are required to carry a shelter. This IS NOT an emergency bivvy or an umbrella! This is either a free standing or trekking pole pitched shelter OR a camping/mountaineering bivvy (very different from an emergency bivvy which is on the standard gear list). If you are carrying a camping/mountaineering bivvy, you do not need to carry your emergency bivvy. If you opt for a standing shelter, you will still need to carry your emergency bivvy from the standard list.
2. You are required to carry a full change of clothes. This IS NOT an extra layer that you are carrying anyway. It is something that you will be putting on in the case of an emergency and will remain dry in your pack. I personally would be packing base layers such as tights and a merino wool top.
3. You are required to carry a sleeping bag rated to 15F. This is not because we feel you are going to want a nap, it is to save your life if you become disabled on the trail.
Why we require this -
1. Whether you want to believe it or not, conditions at -20F wind chill can quickly become life threatening. At these temperatures, exposed skin will frostbite in about 10 minutes.
2. You may be on your own for some time before help can arrive. If you cannot get a call out to alert us (or 911) of your situation, it will be up to us to determine that you are late to a checkpoint based on previous check-in/check-out times.
3. We had a participant lose more than 5 toes one year to frostbite. So far that is our worst injury and we would like to keep it that way.
What I expect from everyone -
1. Be respectful of our rules and requirements. Believe it or not, they are there for you and your safety.
2. Be there for each other. Try to have a heightened awareness of those around you and help out if needed. This is more than a race, it's a community.
I look forward to seeing everyone on Saturday!! Let's make the 10th running of the race safe and enjoyable for everyone!! Oh yeah.. be sure you check out the files section on the event page. There is a new participant guide that should be reviewed and printing out and signing the waiver ahead of time will speed things up on race morning. If there is some miraculous turn of weather and we can go back to the standard list, we will. I just want everyone to have as much time to prepare as possible Thanks.
For the LOVE of Misery...
Our total as of today is $11,918.00!! Just 9 days left to go!