HHG Note: What a beautiful way to honor the life of Meredith Emerson. We encourage everyone to get involved and keep Georgia's hikers safe in the future.
To celebrate Meredith Emerson's life and passions, friends, co-workers and concerned Georgians have joined together to create Right to Hike, a nonprofit that promotes not only hiking safety, but also other causes that were dear to the young woman.
Right to Hike will kick off its programs by hosting simultaneous fundraisers at all 40 metro Atlanta Applebee's on June 25 — five days after Emerson's birthday - where participants dine any time during the restaurant's business hours to donate 15 percent of their total bill to the nonprofit.
The money raised will go toward funding Right to Hike's three initiatives:
To provide hikers and outposts with GPS devices that allow emergency personnel to locate hikers in distress;
To offer added security to people with pets by providing micro-chipping for domesticated animals at Right to Hike events:
To help other students study abroad in France, as Emerson did, through The Meredith Hope Emerson Memorial Award for Study Abroad which was created by The University of Georgia.
"We want to ensure other hikers can feel safe while doing what they love by giving them access to Satellite Personal Outdoor Trackers, known as SPOTs, so they can send messages for help and be located if lost," says Julia Karrenbauer, Emerson's co-worker, best friend and board member for Right to Hike. "Meredith's dog Ella's micro-chip played a key role in helping us find her, and it's so important to make sure all pets have one in the event they're ever lost."
To participate in the fundraiser, visit www.righttohikeinc.com and print out your invitation before visiting Applebee's to ensure 15 percent of your bill goes toward helping Right to Hike.