Photo by Sydney Cromwell.
Homewood resident William “Bubba” Sellers is participating in the Trailblaze Challenge to raise money for Make-A-Wish.
When William “Bubba” Sellers sets off on the Trailblaze Challenge, he’ll be carrying in his backpack a piece of artwork given to him by one of the hundreds of Alabama kids waiting for the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant her wish.
Sellers, a West Homewood resident, decided to join the Trailblaze Challenge in January after hearing about the challenge at the same time a co-worker’s daughter was hospitalized for a bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy.
With two children of his own — 3-year-old Anna Raynes and 1-year-old Will — Sellers and his wife, Molly, wanted to help other Alabama families dealing with health crises.
“I thought that this would be a really good way to help kids in that situation, and having kids myself, I can’t imagine having to go through what they’re going through,” Sellers said.
In addition to raising funds and awareness, Sellers also will face the challenge of a 26.3-mile hike with other Trailblaze Challenge participants. The hike is at the Pinhoti Trail in Oxford on May 20, and Sellers said the hike starts at 3:30 a.m.
Sellers has been a runner for many years and began trail running last year, including participation in a few local 25K trail events. However, the 26.3-mile hike will be his longest distance yet.
He and others in the area already have begun a series of practice hikes to build up to the event.
“I’ve never hiked 26 miles. I’ve never been to the Pinhoti Trail. I heard it’s pretty hilly out there,” he said.
On the day of the challenge, Sellers said it won’t be about who crosses the finish line first. He’ll be thinking about his co-worker’s daughter, the Make-A-Wish children he’s met since joining the Trailblaze Challenge and his own two kids.
The money he raises will help a few more Alabama kids get their wishes granted.
“I think all of that is going to be motivation to do this and get through it,” Sellers said.
The Trailblaze Challenge’s fundraising goal is $225,000 for the Alabama Make-A-Wish Foundation. Sellers’ personal goal is to raise $2,500 through family, friends and local business donations by June 20.
In addition to individual donations, Sellers and some other local Trailblaze participants are hosting a Boston butt sale with Full Moon Bar-B-Que.
The Boston butt sale lasts through April 20, with pickup on April 28. The sale price is $35 per Boston butt, with $20 going toward the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Contact Sellers at 334-494-8613 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the sale.
To contribute to Sellers’ fundraising goal or find information about corporate sponsorships, go to alabamatrailblaze.org and search for Bubba Sellers on the “Support a Hiker” page.