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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Nonprofit established in remembrance of slain hiker

Right: Meredith Emerson
Below: Ella
Below right: a trail on Blood Mountain

Published on: 06/12/08 by

Friends, family and co-workers of Meredith Emerson have established a nonprofit organization to promote causes important to the 24-year-old Buford woman who was abducted while hiking and later killed.

Right to Hike Inc. will kick off its program June 25 with a metro-wide fund raiser involving 40 Applebee's locations. The restaurants are allowing 15 percent of the total bills of participating diners that day to go to the non-profit organization.

The organization initially is focusing on three objectives:

• To provide hikers and outposts with GPS devices that allow emergency personnel to locate hikers in distress;

• To provide micro-chipping for domesticated animals at organization events, and

• To help 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," said Julia Karrenbauer, Emerson's co-worker and close friend. Karrenbauer is a board member for Right to Hike Inc.

The micro-chipping initiative evolved from Emerson's love for her Lab-mix, Ella, who was with Emerson hiking, but later found near a grocery store in Cumming.
"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," Karrenbauer said.
Anyone wishing to participate in the fund raiser may print out an invitation for Applebee's at www.righttohikeinc.com. An invitation is required for the money to be routed to the non-profit organization.
Emerson was abducted from a trail in Vogel State Park, held captive for three days and then killed in Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area, five miles southwest of Dawsonville.
Authorities charged Gary Michael Hilton with the crimes. He later pleaded guilty and was sentenced in Georgia to life in prison. Hilton is currently in Florida, facing charges for a similar slaying there.


Glenn Adams said...

Great cause; for keeping Meredith Hope Emerson's Memory Alive!
I salute all the merchant's, media, and people that are involved with this endeavor.
Hendersonville native Jennifer Pharr will attempt to break the supported female speed record for completing the Appalachian Trail, beginning June 20, 2008
Jennifer Pharr, is dedicating this hike in Memory of Meredith Hope Emerson.
It is amazing to me that Meredith, made such a huge impact on so many, in such a short time.

Glenn Adams


Anonymous said...

The best thing these people could do would be to buy handguns and pass them out to hikers.