In 2005, Bruce Henry took a walk from Ketchum to Mackay. The 54-mile journey took 20 hours. But that's a stroll compared to his goal this week. Henry, a security guard in Sun Valley, will walk 68 miles on his 68th birthday on Friday, May 11. Each mile he walks will earn money to bring severely injured members of the military here to participate in the Sun Valley Adaptive Sports program.
This will be a by-the-mile donation challenge to the public to raise the necessary funds. Henry's goal is to raise $10,000, which would pay for two more veterans to participate in Sun Valley Adaptive Sports camps. Henry will begin his birthday constitutional at 12:01 a.m. Friday, from Hulen Meadows, north of Ketchum. Following the North Valley Trails, he will head south on the bike path to Mountain Sun Lanes in Bellevue. He will then reverse the route and do this route twice more before finally finishing the 68 miles at the 12-mile marker post on Buttercup Road, on his third trip north.
Henry could use physical support for his fund-raising walk, including a driver with a cell phone, to keep him supplied in food, water and clothing. He will take a break every 10 miles.
Henry served in the U.S. Air Force in military intelligence during the Cold War, and is now an active member of the American Legion's Ketchum Post.
"We do a lot of work with Sun Valley Adaptive Sports," he said. Indeed, the American Legion Hall is responsible for driving the vets around when they're in town as well as hosting gatherings for them.
Henry's favorite part of his new long-distance walking career is the amount of weight that he's shed. Twenty-two pounds, so far.
"I'm not a runner. It's all walking. I work 50 hours a week, and then I've been walking 10 miles a day for the last three months."
Donations can be made directly to 68/68 Sun Valley Adaptive Sports, Box 6791, Ketchum, ID 83340, or go to www.svasp.org. Donations may be made per mile; for example, one can donate $17 ($.25 per mile), $34 ($.50 per mile), $68 ($1 per mile) and $340 ($5 per mile).
If anyone is interested in helping out during Henry's birthday walk, contact him at 309-0639 or email@example.com.