Founder, Project Further
After a successful career that spanned senior level sales and marketing positions in hospitality and financial services and founding a digital agency that earned the respect of the market for successfully executing complex public relations and marketing challenges, Denise Powers is undertaking the biggest endeavour of her career with the founding of Project Further and its first initiative – hiking the full length of the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail to raise $1 million to build the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre a new home
She is a former chair of the board of the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre and is a former director of Hedge Funds Care Cayman.
Denise is married to Bill and has lived in the Cayman Islands since 1997. She is step-mom to Dylan and his wife Kieran and is “Denne” to their son Lincoln. She grew up in Huntsville Ontario in an outdoorsy family who were avid campers and paddlers and picked up ultralight backpacking in 2016 when she hiked Washington’s sections J and L of the PCT and met her friend Monica Reinoso who will be her hiking partner on this epic trip. They hiked section K together in 2018.
Denise has always pursued athletic endeavours, including competing in the Triathlon World Champs for the Cayman Islands in 2001. She is still a runner and in 2020 picked up bodybuilding for fun and to prepare for this journey.
ABOUT THE PCT
The Pacific Crest Trail is a 2,650 mile hiking and equestrian backcountry trail that stretches from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington, covering the desert, the Sierra Nevadas, and the forests and volcanic peaks of the Cascades.
To thru-hike the PCT will take approximately six months when covering between 15 - 20 miles every day. The goal is to reach Canada by mid-September, before the snow flies. Hikers carry all of their gear, including tents, clothing, food and water for 5 - 7 days at a time.
Hikers encounter the intense, scorching heat of the desert, rain, wind, and snow in the Sierras and in the northern Cascades. The total elevation gain/loss on the trail is an incredible 489,418 feet, the same as climbing Mount Everest 17 times from sea level.
To complete the entire journey is one of the biggest tests of physical and mental endurance.
ABOUT THE CAYMAN ISLANDS CRISIS CENTRE
Since 2003, the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre (CICC) has been providing a safe place for shelter and healing for survivors of domestic violence and their children, as well as running other programmes that look to end the cycle of abuse, including Estella's Place (the drop-in centre) and the TAYA Lounge, where young people have a safe place to go and learn essential life, communication and creativity skills.
The shelter itself is a 4-bedroom, 1 bathroom home that frequently accommodates more people than its 18-bed capacity. While it is homey, clean and safe, it is cramped quarters and a new, fit-for-purpose facility is required. The CICC has been fundraising for this project for several years already and has already saved more than $250K to put towards the project. Project Further aims to raise $1 million to get them over the line and into a new home.
For more information, see their website.