EAGAN, Minn., Nov. 20 Forward Expeditions LLC, Ely, Minn.,announced today that they will use their upcoming historic Victorinox NorthPole expedition to raise awareness and funds for CaringBridge(R), aMinnesota-based nonprofit organization offering free personalized Web sites topeople facing serious medical conditions. The world's largest charitablenonprofit Web site, CaringBridge connects more than 20 million families eachyear through personal, private CaringBridge Web sites. In addition to raisingawareness, expedition team members are hopeful that their unique approach tothe expedition's physical and mental challenges will also inspire the familiesusing and supporting CaringBridge.
The Victorinox North Pole '09 expedition team of John Huston and TylerFish will attempt to become the first Americans to ski unsupported to theNorth Pole. Huston, age 32 of Chicago, Ill., and Fish, age 34 of Ely, Minn.,will depart from the northern tip of Canada's Ellesmere Island in early March2009 and trek 475 miles over the Arctic Ocean to the North Pole. Theirexpedition will not receive or use any outside assistance such as airdrops,re-supplies or sled dogs. Instead, Huston and Fish will each carry 30-poundpacks and pull 250-pound sleds full of gear, food, cooking fuel andnavigational equipment as they negotiate the maze of ice ridges, drifts andopen water that stand between them and the Pole. Huston and Fish will travelby skiing and snowshoeing, and when necessary will cross leads by swimming,while wearing dry suits.
"The extremely rugged terrain and bitter cold of the Arctic Ocean makethis particular expedition very dangerous and intimidating, and if we lose ourfocus we could become overwhelmed," says Huston. "We believe that byapproaching this challenge with optimism, humility and responsible action, wecan be successful and safely reach the Pole."
As they began preparing for their expedition in early 2008, Huston andFish were inspired by the work of CaringBridge and the medical challengesfaced by families who create and use its personal Web sites.
"We thought about all of the people with CaringBridge Web sites and thehealth challenges they were facing, and we wondered if we could help," saysFish. "What if we could use our expedition to raise awareness and funds forCaringBridge, and make our expedition story available to the thousands offamilies that use its Web sites every day? Not only would this relationshipgive our expedition a broader purpose, but just knowing that so many peopleare supporting us might also help us persevere when the going gets tough."
"We believe that John and Tyler's emphasis on optimism, humility andresponsible action will serve them well, and is a powerful connection to manyof the families who use CaringBridge," says Sona Mehring, founder andexecutive director of CaringBridge. "We are honored they chose CaringBridge tobe a partner in their inspiring journey to help us reach more families facingserious medical conditions and let them know about CaringBridge."
The upcoming, historic expedition is sponsored by Victorinox. In additionto the sponsorship, Victorinox will provide Huston and Fish with Swiss ArmyKnives and Victorinox Swiss Army timepieces from the current collection."Victorinox is honored to be the title sponsor of this expedition and to workwith John and Tyler," says Victorinox President Rick Taggart. "These men,their positive attitude, and the integrity of the expedition are messagesthat, as a brand, we are happy to stand behind."
Throughout their 55-day expedition Huston and Fish will use satellitetelephones to upload daily trail dispatches and photographs to the expeditionWeb site, http://www.northpole09.com. Through these dispatches CaringBridgeusers, students, teachers, expedition partners and fundraising donors will beable to follow the progress of the expedition.
Forward Expeditions' goal is to raise $100,000 for CaringBridge. Thoseinterested in supporting CaringBridge through the Victorinox North Pole '09expedition initiative are encouraged to visithttp://www.firstgiving.com/northpole09, where they can make a tax-deductiblefinancial donation.
About Forward Expeditions LLC
Forward Expeditions is a values-based company founded by Huston and Fishfor the purpose of using ambitious wilderness expeditions to inspire people toembrace challenge with optimism, humility and responsible action. TheVictorinox North Pole '09 expedition receives major support fromVictorinox/Swiss Army, DeLorme, and Bergans of Norway. For more informationvisit http://www.northpole09.com.
CaringBridge(R) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization offering freepersonalized Web sites to those wishing to stay in touch with family andfriends when facing a serious medical condition, treatment or recovery. Formore information visit http://www.CaringBridge.org.
Victorinox Swiss Army, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Victorinox,A.G., is the exclusive United States, Canadian and Caribbean marketer ofVICTORINOX multi-tools, forged cutlery, and LED lighting products; VICTORINOXSWISS ARMY timepieces, and R.H. FORSCHNER BY VICTORINOX cutlery. It sellsapparel throughout the world under the VICTORINOX trademark and has flagshipretail stores in New York and Tokyo. Under license from Victorinox A.G., theCompany sublicenses the VICTORINOX trademark and the famous Victorinox Crossand Shield to selected manufacturers and distributors of fine productsincluding VICTORINOX TRAVEL GEAR. The company Web site is located athttp://www.swissarmy.com. Victorinox Swiss Army, Inc. is based in Monroe, CT."VICTORINOX," the famous Victorinox Cross and Shield, and "SWISS ARMY" aretrademarks owned by Victorinox AG and its affiliates and are registered inmany countries.Contacts: Jack Klobucar Melissa Holm Forward Expeditions LLC CaringBridge Chicago, Ill. and Ely, MN Eagan, Minn. (952) 925-9566 (651) 789-3375