You can walk it. You can run it. You can bike it. You can make the TREK anything you want it to be. Because the goal is not to see how far or how fast you can go; the goal is to raise money for St. Joseph’s Peace Mission – and to have fun along the way.
And although there is a send off at the start line, don’t expect to find a finish line. “There is no finish line,” explains David Yewell, who hosts the post-race celebration in his backyard. “We keep going. Our work isn’t over when the race is done.”
This year marks the 20th TREK, so everyone who has ever participated is invited to come back for a “homecoming” to mark the 20-year milestone – and bring along a few friends. “We hope everyone will stay and visit at the house a little longer this year and talk to everybody,” Yewell explained, mentioning the DJ who is scheduled to play music in addition to the normal food and drinks provided at the cookout that awaits the runners and bikers who have worked up an appetite. Some “country, good time fellowship,” as Yewell describes it.
It Started with One
The idea that became the TREK for St. Joseph’s Peace Mission started out as a simple one. To mark his 48th birthday, David Yewell decided to walk from the banks of the Green River in Calhoun to his home in West Louisville, a distance of 13 miles. His “birthday walk” was a time to reflect on the past year, look forward to the next year, and give thanks.
After walking the route several years alone, he invited some friends to join him. That group grew to about 13 people the next year. “We thought this is just too good to keep to ourselves,” Yewell remembers, “so we decided to make it a benefit by asking people to donate to participate.”
Now in its 20th year, Yewell takes no credit for the TREK’s success; he says the idea was “from above.” But he is more than comfortable being the event’s biggest cheerleader. Now the larger goal is to eventually build a children’s home similar to the Home of the Innocents in Louisville that would offer dental and medical care on site at the Peace Mission.
So the TREK has become about much more than enjoying a nice run, walk, or bike ride in the country. That alone is worth the suggested $25 donation to participate, but additional donations are greatly appreciated.
The Peace Mission
St. Joseph’s Peace Mission for Children is a non-profit emergency shelter for abused and neglected children. The Peace Mission provides children and sibling groups in need with a safe and nurturing home environment.
Paula Yevincy, Director of St. Joseph’s Peace Mission, says, “The TREK is our biggest fundraiser of the year. We could not do what we do without TREK.”
“You don’t know how much you’ve truly helped a kid, just with this little thing (the TREK),” Yewell said. “That’s what I want to be about. We’re just trying to be one voice.”
Click here to donate to or register for TREK 20.
Read an inside perspective into what it’s like to participate here.