The ALS ice bucket challenge has been amazing to watch and in most cases…fun.  I hope that all those dollars will be so very beneficial to find a cure.  But I wonder if part of the benefit to those individuals and families enduring ALS is that we are paying attention for just a little while and sharing their life even for a little while.  I wonder if they don’t feel so alone in their daily battle.

While BENCHMARK’s focus isn’t on those struggling with ALS, we are all about paying attention and sharing life.  Our mission is to stimulate significant life change and that happens when we’re paying attention and sharing life.

Something Old

Every fall for 20 years, BENCHMARK has had at least one fall funding hike.  This year is no different.  (see signature events @  We’ve always hiked with a purpose of personal challenge and ministry benefit.  The miles are often tough enough but not impossible.

Nature provides creative beauty, challenge, vastness and intricate detail.  Time on the trail provides miles to think about life by yourself and to have an extended conversation with someone else.  Both have their place.

And every dollar raised, mile by mile, helps BENCHMARK fulfill its’ mission.

Something New

This year, take a hike where you are.  That’s right, while we are on the trail you can be doing some miles closer to where you live but for the same purpose.  Here’s the essentials – reasonable challenge and a place with some beauty which is often closer than we normally notice.

Now we’d really like for you to come hike with us, but most can’t.  So hike where you are.

Hike Your Pace – Do What You Can

The dollars raised will help BENCHMARK stimulate significant life change.

BENCHMARK partners with Military Chaplains and every $250 raised will provide an adventure ministry retreat geared to serve an active duty Soldier in a time away creating memories.  Some Soldiers are followers of Christ and can use some encouragement to continue in the hard place they’re in. Some are ‘some of the most unashamed lost people you’ve ever met’ and could benefit from an imperfect ambassador who lives their life in Christ.  Both need servants who will pay attention and share life with them for a few hours.

What’s Your Goal

Well…you get to determine that goal.  You could take a hike and donate $25 to fund 10% of a retreat for a Soldier.  Maybe you can take a hike and donate $250 to completely fund a Soldier’s retreat.  Maybe you’ll commit $25 a month for the next year to scholarship a Soldier. Or perhaps you’re ready to take a hike and donate $2500 or $5000 to provide 10 or 20 Soldiers a potentially life changing retreat.

You Can Do Something – How Can We Help

You need a fall fitness goal – we’ll help you.  You want to train – we’ll help you.  You want to find a reasonable challenge and to do something eternal with those steps – we’ll help you.  Do you have some friends you can call out to join you in reaching your goal?

What’s a good goal for you?  How can BENCHMARK help you reach this goal?  Call (615.972.9033) or email ( and let’s go on this adventure…together.