Wednesday, April 22, 2009

300 Miles Introduction

Hello Internet,

My friend Chuck was recently diagnosed with brain cancer. I won't go into the heavy medical details, because there will probably be another blog to handle that soon enough. Let it suffice to say that this cancer is no pushover. It is serious business.

The good news is that Chuck is one of the toughest people I know, and he has an amazing collection of family and friends who are ready to help him kick cancer's butt.

The bad news is that between the cancer and the treatment, Chuck has had to leave his job at Farm Sanctuary. That means that he and his wife, Jen - and their two little dogs Hank and Rocco - are down to one income, and enormous medical expenses are accruing daily. For example, when the tumor in Chuck's skull first made itself known by swelling to the size of a softball, he had to be flown to Rochester by helicopter to save his life. The bill for that helicopter ride is about $10,000, and it isn't covered by his insurance. That's just the beginning.

So the bottom line is that Chuck needs a lifeline, big time. To those of you who know Chuck, there's no need for me to convince you that he is a man worth helping. For those who don't know him, we'll soon have a web page to show you in detail what an amazing guy he is and how much he's done to make the world a more compassionate place - like last summer when he spent more than a week slogging through the toxic-waste laden flood waters of Iowa saving stranded pigs who were on the ragged edge of life and death.

With that preface, I arrive at the point of this blog. My wife Jenn (two "n"s) and I are planning an extreme walkathon to raise money for Chuck and offset some of the financial strain he and his family are under. The walk will go from the Taking Action For Animals (TAFA) conference in Washington DC to the Farm Sanctuary Hoe Down in Watkins Glen, NY. TAFA is the biggest all-around animal rights conference in the country - probably in the world - and the Hoe Down is the biggest (and most fun) animal rights shindig focusing solely on farm animals. TAFA is the last weekend in July, and the Hoe Down is the following weekend. So that gives us about 6 days to cover roughly 300 miles. And our goal is to raise $25,000. I know that is a steep goal, but we like to aim high, and we know there are some amazing people in our extended community who will help us make it happen. If you can help us reach that goal, please donate here!

We'd like to walk the distance but we may end up making it a bikeathon instead, depending on how abused we feel after doing some trial walks of 40-50 miles around Ithaca. We've got three months to get ready. In the meantime, we are looking for other walkers (part way or all the way), support volunteers, fund-raisers/pledge-collectors, and basically anybody who wants to help in any way. This blog will chronicle the preparations and the eventual walk from DC to Watkins Glen. If you want to get involved, send me an email! We'd love to hear from you.

Again, if you would like to make a monetary donation to our walk, please visit

Or you can send a check or money order to:

Chuck Pappas
c/o Jim and Cheryl Ortolf
183 Mill RoadChelmsford, MA 01824

Checks can be made payable to "Chuck or Jen Pappas" and please write "300 Miles" in the memo line so we can track our progress. Thank you so much!


  1. how and where can I donate money or participate? I live in Manhattan now; I don't have enough money or time off work to come do this with y'all, but Chuck has always been an amazing friend, fellow activist, co-worker, human being. I want to help in anyway possible. I've been praying my energy out ever since Susie told me. Please let me know any way I can participate or help or support or donate....


  2. Thanks Molly! We are still working out the best way to collect pledges. There are a number of online services through which we could set up a fundraising page to accept CC donations. Setting up the page is free but they all charge some small transaction fee. So we just need to find the best one. As soon as we have something set up, I promise that everyone following this blog and beyond will know about it.

  3. I'd like to come participate in the walk with everyone, Chuck is my cousin, I live in Mass, but would love to try and make the time and effort to come do this for him. He means the world to our family. Please keep me posted!

    Clarissa Earley-O'Brien

  4. Thanks Clarissa,

    I know for sure that we will be leaving DC on Sunday (7/26), probably mid-morning, and arriving at Farm Sanctuary on the following Saturday. If you are free for those dates you are welcome to come with us! As soon as we know whether we are walking or biking, I'll post that update on the blog. Stay tuned!

  5. Clarissa,

    You can also walk with us for just part of the to show support and get pledges, if you can't manage the whole trip due to time or commitments. We'd love to have you join us in whatever way you can!

    Jenn (two n's)


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