A Valley doctor is hoping the community will join him in climbing a mountain and helping victims of childhood trauma.
Dozens turned out Monday afternoon to the kickoff of the Butterflies and Hope fundraiser at the Youngstown Community Health Center on Wick Avenue.
Community members are being asked to sign on for a "Virtual Mountain Climb" to raise money for the cause.
It's called Climbing for Kids, where the community is invited to "virtually" climb Mount Kilimanjaro August 13 through August 17.
The goal is for each climber to walk 50,000 steps over a five-day period to virtually summit the mountain.
As participants reach milestones along their climb, they will get to see pictures and videos of the mountain at that particular elevation.
Participants will track their steps through a wearable device (Fitbit, Garmin, etc.) or cell phone and manually enter them into the virtual platform.
The idea comes from the group's founder, Dr. Ron Dwinnells, who hopes the climb can bring awareness to childhood trauma.
Dr. Dwinnells recently climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in an effort to increase awareness for children suffering from Adverse Childhood Experiences.
With the passing of his mother and a small inheritance, the foundation was started as a way to support unique fundraising projects benefiting behavioral health programs that will improve the lives of children, young adults, and families.
"These are kids who were abused as a child, whether it's physical abuse, mental abuse, sexual abuse, and these kids don't grow up right," said Dwinnells. "Our job is to identify these kids early on in life and do interventions."
This Climbing for Kids campaign will raise funds to help support children who suffer from Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) or trauma such as physical, emotional or verbal abuse, neglect, violence in the household, death of a loved one, bullying and other trauma.
Each participant will be asked to pay a $5 minimum registration donation.
The fundraiser has already raised nearly $15,000.
There's still time to register to walk the 50,000 steps.