“We have been talking about this for a while and when I turned 60 in January, I decided this was the year to do it,” said Margaretich, a realtor at Grass Valley’s RE/MAX Performance for 31 years.
The Nevada County resident and hiker will embark on an 80-mile trip on Aug. 15 with her husband, Kebby, in hope of raising $6,000 for Nevada County Habitat for Humanity and AnimalSave.
With their dogs Katie and Oscar as companions, the couple will depart from the Sonora Pass Trailhead in the Stanislaus National Forest and walk to South Lake Tahoe for a backpack journey that will last approximately 10 to 12 days.
Their trek will encompass vast stretches of woodlands such as Carson Iceberg Wilderness and Mokelumne Wilderness, as well as Wolf Creek Pass and Carson Pass, with elevations ranging from 7,000 to 10,500 feet.
Kebby and Mary Margaretich describe themselves as outdoor enthusiasts who have been hiking since their youth. They said the trip will be a good breakaway from the hustle and bustle of their daily lives.
“When you go to a place and you are kind of tired and hot, and there is this mountain, pond or lake, and you kick off your boots, and you put your feet in it. Just relax and really kind of start to revive a little bit... it becomes more real to you than if you look at it in a picture or driving by in a car,” said Kebby.
Mary said the inspiration for this trip came from her father, an 80-year-old who undertakes a six-mile stroll six days of the week.
“People see him all the time. I take him into town with me, and he stays healthy that way,” she said, adding that her father has put 20,000 miles under his belt in the last decade.
But besides taking on a personal challenge and saluting her father, Mary has another objective with this trip — to provide a financial lift for two nonprofits that she and her husband have been involved with for over 10 years.
Shortly after moving to Nevada County in 2001, Mary and Kebby became active members of Nevada County Habitat for Humanity, the local chapter of an international nonprofit that builds, renovates and repairs affordable homes.
Margaretich said the nonprofit is near to her heart as a realtor, because the organization provides reasonably priced homes for people in need.
“Especially for single parents, it’s a really good source for them to be able to own a home. Otherwise they couldn’t, if you add the interest that a bank charges,” she said. “Habitat for Humanity does not charge interest. That is where the lower payment comes in, you just pay back the principal, that is how it makes it affordable.”
The money raised through the hiking trip will be split equally between Habitat for Humanity and AnimalSave.
Margaretich said the Grass Valley based nonprofit, which she and her husband has been a part of since 2009, is instrumental in helping animals find homes and keeping them from being destroyed.
With a little over a week to go before the trip, the couple has been getting support from friends and family.
They even have several sponsors lined up; RE/MAX Performance, Sierra Athletic Club, First American Title Insurance Corporation, Placer Title Company, Syn Salon, and Signet Home Inspections all provided monetary contributions or equipment.
An online GoFundMe account has been set up for the couple’s cause:https://www.gofundme.com/2fkvuax8. As of press deadline Friday, the account has raised $1,400 through 22 donors.
“If everybody gives a little, then we can get to the goal,” Mary Margaretich said.
Go HERE to see original article in the The Union newspaper.