Monday, January 14, 2008

Hiking 4 Fathers

Blended Family Dad Hiking Across America on Behalf of Fathers

A south Georgia blended family father of many has a plan to promote the valuable impact fathers make to the family, community and nation. The 49-year-old veteran long distance hiker will use his experience hiking the famed 2,172-mile Appalachian Trail as the basis for a new series of inspirational books called, "My Fathers Voice." This book series is geared toward encouraging fatherless children with the stories and father's advice gathered during his upcoming six-month "Hike4Fathers."

Brunswick, GA (PRWEB) January 10, 2008 -- William Bateman, a Christian blended family father of many, is preparing to hike the historic Appalachian National Scenic Trail on June 1, 2008. A veteran long distance hiker, Bateman embarks on his six-month journey at Baxter State Park in central Maine. He will continue hiking south bound through 14 eastern U.S. states until he reaches the end of the trail at Amicalola Falls, Georgia -- a distance of 2,172 miles.

William Bateman, who goes by the trail name "Spanky", hiked more than 1,000 miles of the A.T. in 2002 on behalf of Florida's foster children. That effort was a learning curve for Bateman and cemented his desire to repeat his efforts in 2008, albeit, a different reason.

"When I first hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2002, I quickly discovered there was more to hiking the A.T. than beautiful vistas and small towns." Mr. Bateman continues, "I was deeply moved by the many strangers I talked to along the way, who shared with me their strikingly sad recollections growing up without ever hearing their father's voice. Their stories gave me the inspiration for a unique series of books that could be a kind of solace for that hurting soul."

Bateman's plan is simple, yet profound in scope. He will use his journey hiking along the A.T. as a means for interviewing people of all ages and all walks of life, journaling each person's recollections of sage advice passed down from a father figure from their own past -- and compiling those same responses into a book form for fatherless children called, "My Father's Voice."

"I meet so many young people today, who sadly miss never having a deep relationship with their own fathers, for whatever reasons." He goes on to explain, "There are many reasons why a dad does not or can not invest in his own family. Untimely Death. Separation and Divorce. Incarceration. Misplaced career priorities. The reasons for a fatherless family are many but the common denominator always seems to be one thing." When pressed to share what that was, Mr. Bateman replied, "Each person needed their father's voice at a critical point in their lives ... and their father was not there."

William and his wife Elaine, have mentored numerous young adults over the last 13 years; watching them develop in faith and responsibility toward raising their own families, investing in their local communities and serving their country. A number of their "kids" have served with the United States Armed Forces in Afghanistan and Iraq and as Christian missionaries to Costa Rica, south Florida, Ireland, Uganda and western Montana.

Bateman thoughtfully added his own sage fathering tip; "Fathers show sons how to become husbands, daughters how to be wives and children how to be parents."

William Bateman has previously appeared as a featured guest on National Public Radio, numerous Christian radio stations, the International Univision Television and Telemundo Television Networks and Faithwriter's Magazine. He is available for single, single-again, stepfamily, family and men's conferences. Bateman also is seeking financial sponsorship of his "Hike4Fathers" effort to promote the role fathers contribute to their families, communities and nation.

Elaine Bateman
Hike4Fathers Coordinator
P.O. Box 131
139 Altama Connector
Brunswick, GA 31525