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The Four

Grand Traverse County Single Moms Hike Pikes Peak, Overcoming More Than Heights

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Raising children is difficult, especially if you are doing it alone.

That’s why one mom started an organization 10 years ago called .

It’s based in Grand Traverse County but the support that it provides extends much further, serving more than 600 moms.

This week ten of those moms will push themselves to new limits by scaling Pikes Peak in Colorado.

The beginning is different for each mom…

“I’m a single mom of two girls,” said Candace Jaruzel.

“I became a single mom in 2008,” said Grace Hannon. “I had a five year old, a three old and a one year old and I became a full time single mom.”

But the struggles they face are no different.

“It was the scariest time of my life,” said Hannon.

“I became a single mom when my kids were one and three and became a single mom kind of overnight and found myself as a stay at home mom, looking at this magnitude of responsibility and really enormous fear of what is going to happen to me and my children,” said founder of Jennifer Finnegan Pool.

Which is why she created a network of support for single moms.

“We’ve grown into an organization that has six functioning arms,” said Finnegan Pool. “From mentorship, to event nights, to an in house program called the revive course which is a small group initiative, to residential, to vocational, to resource networking.”

Now together, ten moms are traveling across the country to hike Pikes Peak.

“This hike is a huge hike, this is not a walk, this is a steady incline up to 14,114 feet,” said Finnegan Pool.

Starting their road trip earlier this week and getting ready for the big climb on Friday.

“One of our first questions when talking to the women about going on this was ‘what is it that you want to overcome?’” said Finnegan Pool.

Overcoming so much more than just the physical climb.

“To overcome the fear and just be able to connect and go to the next step,” said Jaruzel.

“When you’re a single mom, there’s so many things in front of you and I remember when I first became a single mom, somebody told me just do the next thing, take the next step and in this climb that’s what we’re going to do,” said Hannon. “We’re just going to keep taking that next step to get to the top.”

Click for information on how to donate to “The Climb”.

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