A brave father-daughter duo wrapped up an 800-mile hike on The Arizona Trail recently with an initial goal to raise $1 million and awareness for The Colorado City Dream Center. The duo, Luke and Annalee Barnett, had no idea that they would not only surpass their initial fundraising goal, but they would also experience a nearly fatal accident that could have abruptly halted their mission.
The hike, what the father-daughter duo called “Adventure Your Life”, was officially completed on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020. The trek initially began back in September, but was delayed after Luke suffered a severe accident when an 8,000 lbs. boulder rolled over him, just missing crushing his skull.
Annalee went on to finish the remainder of the hike following the accident, with her father there to finish the last 200 yards and cross the finish line by his daughter’s side. Along with the completion of the hike, their initial goal of $1 million was surpassed by actually raising $1.8 million.
“This has been an incredibly challenging but rewarding experience,” said Annalee Barnett. “I am still blown away by the amount of support this journey has received. I could not be more honored to shed light on The Colorado City Dream Center, and everything they are doing to help heal the victims of polygamy.”
500 miles into the hike a boulder shifted in their path, but Luke was able to push Annalee out of the way. The boulder ended up crushing Luke, resulting in three broken ribs, a broken femur, a broken hip, a broken arm, and gashed hands. Annalee is trained in emergency care, so she was able to drag him out from under the boulder prior to a rescue helicopter taking Luke to a hospital in Scottsdale, Arizona. Knowing that this hike was a dream for his daughter to complete, Luke encouraged his daughter to hike the last 300 miles. Annalee chose to continue on the adventure with her mother and friends.
“I am grateful that I was able to participate and make a difference for The Colorado City Dream Center alongside my daughter,” said Luke Barnett, Pastor of Dream City Church Phoenix. “Although my personal hiking adventure got cut short, I am extremely fulfilled and proud that Annalee was able to finish strong and raise an incredible amount of donations for these survivors.”
The Dream Center, located in Colorado City, Arizona, that Annalee and Luke were hiking in support of, works to serve as a relief community and safe haven for survivors escaping generational human trafficking and exploitation. It is the former residence and headquarters for the polygamist sex cult leader Warren Jeffs, that has since turned into a home for victims and survivors of polygamy. The center was started and is run by Dream City Church, which Luke Barnett is a pastor for.
This is only the beginning in their efforts to create a better future and a better life for victims of polygamy. The organization is currently ramping up for their Stop Traffic Walk, an annual walk in support of human trafficking victims, as well as their annual Dream Conference.
For more information on The Colorado City Dream Center, visit https://shortcreekdreamcenter.org/.
For more information on Adventure Your Life, visit https://adventureyourlife.org/.
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