The past few years of Trailmixer have been exciting ones, years of growth. We were born from fundraising for causes we care about merely as a group of friends, starting with fundraiser hikes up our local Mount Baldy and Mount San Jacinto, expanding to Mount Whitney, Half Dome in Yosemite, Buckskin Gulch in Utah, and Mount Saint Helens in Washington. That was before Trailmixer was the organization as you know it now. It started from a foundation of care for each other, care for causes that are important to us like The Trevor Project and Alzheimer’s Association, and love for the outdoors. All of this brought us to becoming an established 501(c)(3) in 2018 with annual fundraising hikes. Since then, we’ve raised over $100,000 from our small-but-mighty group of hikers for outdoor program scholarships benefitting underserved LGBTQ+ youth.
The pandemic created a need for the outdoors and open spaces more than we could have ever imagined. We had been taking these spaces for granted. We were all suddenly itching to get outside, to breathe fresh air, to connect face-to-face safely. Our community’s appreciation and need for outdoor experiences started to manifest itself in an increased interest and participation in our programs, all while the need for underserved LGBTQ+ youth stuck at home to get outside also skyrocketed. We saw our organization grow faster than we could have imagined, nearly doubling our fundraising efforts from 2020 to 2021 along with strong fundraising from a smaller number of hikers in 2022 and 2023. While we are proud of our accomplishments the past few years, the needs of our beloved organization are changing.
This takes us to 2024. We’re making a few changes to support the growth and longevity of Trailmixer. Our incredible and fearless leader and co-founder Ulisses Guimaraes is taking a step back from his CEO position. Co-founder John Binninger will be taking over as the Chief Executive Officer of Trailmixer with support from Chair of the Board Rick Gilles, and Board Members Georgia Arnold, Francesca Koe, and Jason Wise.
2024 will be a year of regrouping and refocusing the organization in an attempt to increase community participation in fundraising and supporting Trailmixer and its mission. We’re focusing on getting back to our roots: facilitating outdoor events where our community can hike together both in a more relaxed atmosphere (social hikes) and in a more challenging environment with opportunities to grow yourself and your outdoor experience (fundraiser hikes and training hikes, as well as rallying around underserved LGBTQ+ youth whose access to the outdoors is limited through fundraising and community events with those we serve.
We are looking to strike a balance between Trailmixer acting as an agent of change in the outdoors industry. We are committed to pushing for inclusivity and equitable access to the outdoors and outdoor experiences for underrepresented communities and acting as a community gathering space to meet other like-minded individuals who share a love for the outdoors. We’re very excited about the year ahead, and we look forward to seeing you on the trails. Happy hiking!
UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS
Start your 2024 off right with a hike! Join us this Sunday for a moderate (and beautiful) hike to Sandstone Peak and around the Mishe Mokwa Loop. We'll meet in the Mishe Mokwa Trailhead parking lot (not the Sandstone Peak TH lot, which is down the road). Dogs are welcome on a leash. Bring layers, water, and a snack. Brunch plans to be made for afterwards! We recommend carpooling as parking lots do fill up fast.
TRAIL STATS: 5.9 miles | 1354' gain | 100% fun.
DATE AND TIME: January 7 | 8:30 am - 11:30 am
LOCATION: Mishe Mokwa Trailhead Parking Lot
Please join us, led by Board Member Jason Wise, with Brave Trails for an easy 2 mile round trip, 200ft elevation change exploration of our local ecosystems through the lens of QUEER ECOLOGY--the study of everything in nature that subverts our western cultural expectations about how the natural world should work.
This program is open to all Brave Trails staff and alumni as well as any LGBTQ+ youth ages 11-18 and their families.
A picnic lunch and refreshments will be provided at the end of the hike courtesy of Trailmixer!
DATE AND TIME: January 27th | 10 am -12 pm
LOCATION: Los Angeles. A more detailed description of the location will be given upon registration.
This event is free. Lunch will be provided. Register here!