Audacity to Hope Campaign

Audacity to Hope Day is June 4th, a special day for us at Wander Project. This day celebrates the human spirit that encourages us all to overcome obstacles and share those things that inspire us to do more. This day highlights what is at the heart of Wander Project…the belief that we can all do SOMETHING to make the world a better, more happy place for every single person. We are launching a four day campaign running from June 4th to June 7th, which is the National Running Day, to raise awareness and funds for Wander Project. Salem Stanley, Wander Project’s Founder, is personally matching all donations so that we can reach our $25,000 goal. You can donate through Paypal by clicking on the Donate Now button at the bottom of the page or by Venmo (@wanderproject).

Each of these four days we will highlight a story from one of our Wander Project Community Members that we hope will inspire you to join us in creating positive change in the world.

June 7th: Ann Ludewig

Ann’s son suffers from major depression, anxiety, and ADHD.  He has been dealing with them since 3rd grade.  Can you imagine being a parent of a 3rd grader who comes to you and ask you, ‘Mom when are you going to get me someone to talk to?  I do not feel like I belong on this planet.”   

This was a scary time in her life. She never thought honestly that he would make it to 23. There were days she cried in her car because the school had called again and she did not know how to help him.

Now at 23 he is still dealing with his Major Depression and Anxieties Daily. He will tell you he is just used to being sad even when you think he is happy. Until you yourself experience something like this you won’t understand.  His anxieties keep him inside most days. So when you see him out it is a good day:). 

She has friends who have lost loved ones because of Mental Illness.  They are still dealing with the pain everyday from it.  This is why she choose to raise money for Bigger Than The Trail as she set out on this journey.

June 6th: Jenny Soho

Jenny’s daughter Lila underwent a major surgery with some unexpected post operative complications. Before this surgery Lila was an able bodied 20yr old, working and taking college courses to pursue her dream of becoming a preschool teacher.  

All of that changed when after her 9 hr surgery she was unable to move her arms and legs. She had to be intubated 3 times therefore was unable to communicate and was hospitalized for 4 1/2 months and confined to a wheelchair.  

Her journey has been a tale of unbridled courage and strength.  Lila is slowly gaining mobility and has therapy 4 days a week. Jenny believes that when life throws you challenges, you lean into them and you can ease your hardships by staying positive.

Jenny and the team raised $45,602.80 for Bridging Bionics who have been helping support Lila in this journey!

June 5th: Jessica Turner

Jessica felt like she was an awkward kid who never fit in. There were pressures to be a part of a social group to feel some sort of belonging. But the pressure to fit in and not be a loner was immense. Seeking others’ approval sent her into a depression. Fast forward a few years when depression was real, she contemplated taking her own life several times. She thought things could never change and that no one would ever “get” her. She stewed in this depression for years. 

After college, she was in a job that was not meaningful to her. But she stayed in it because she didn’t think she could venture out. She joined CrossFit Flagstaff to get in shape. Every time she showed up, she was encouraged and supported to push herself because they believed in her. Her confidence began to grow, and she started to see herself as an individual with a purpose for the first time in her life. Because of this newfound confidence, she left the job that felt like shackles and started to take charge of where she was and where she wanted to go.

FYR Flagstaff takes this same community to underserved and at-promise youth. She’s positive that if she had a community like CrossFit when she was that awkward kid, she could have avoided years of depression and self-doubt. FYR Flagstaff is inclusive of every body and everybody. FYR Flagstaff brings kids a community of support. This support and knowing that she was raising funds to support youth just like hers what got her across the finish line.  

June 4th: Bryan and Gabe Komas

This last year Bryan climbed quite the mountain fighting stage 3 rectal cancer, stage 1 bladder cancer, and a benign brain tumor. Thanks to God’s Grace, He’s happy to say he’s cancer free and ready to raise awareness and support for those still fighting! He just completed the Moose Double, which consisted of the Grand Teton 5K on June 2nd and the Grand Teton Half Marathon on June 3rd, with his son Gabe.

Bryan and Gabe raised funds for the This Time Tomorrow Foundation. The TTTF uses music and the arts to inspire hope. This Time Tomorrow Foundation provides direct financial support to individuals and families fighting all forms of cancer. 

They’ve chosen This Time Tomorrow Foundation because of the tremendous impact it’s had on their life. After a diagnosis like Bryan’s, there is so much uncertainty and anxiety. Questions like: Will I be able to continue working? Support my family? What’s my prognosis like? And so many more questions.  

When you are at your lowest of lows and someone surprises you with a Random Act of Kindness ($5000 check and a hug) you are instantly overwhelmed with love!