Retired Astronaut and Hiker will Speak at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy's Fundraiser in DC

Date Published: Sep 10, 2014

Retired astronaut and hiker Guy Gardner

Washington, DC (Sept. 10, 2014) – Retired NASA astronaut Guy Gardner is the featured speaker at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s (ATC) fourth annual membership drive, “Relive the Legacy: The Appalachian Trail” at the Avalon Theatre, located at 5612 Connecticut Ave. NW in DC. The event, held at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 9, will also showcase the never-before-seen film “The Appalachian Trail: An American Legacy,” which tells the history of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) using rare film footage and photography. All proceeds will benefit the ATC and its efforts to preserve the A.T.

Gardner, or “AstroGuy,” began hiking the 2,180-mile long Appalachian Trail (A.T.) in Georgia this year and is expected to complete his journey in Maine in late September. As a NASA astronaut, Gardner worked in many areas of space shuttle and space station development and support. His two flights in space were as pilot of Space Shuttle missions STS-27 and STS-35. Following his time with NASA, he served as a high school mathematics and physics teacher, a consultant in risk management and space flight development, a research manager and teacher at Purdue University and as the head of Riverside Military Academy, a boys college prep boarding and day school.

In addition to Gardner, other speakers include Sam Henegar, director and producer of the event’s featured film. Key leaders of the ATC, including Sandra Marra, chair; Ron Tipton, executive director/CEO; and Javier Folgar, director of Marketing and Communications, will also speak at the event.

“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is excited to host this membership drive as it offers a unique opportunity to connect the community with this American icon—the Appalachian Trail,” said Folgar. “It offers participants a chance to hear the stories of the people who volunteer, maintain, hike and protect the Trail and interact with them in a new way.”

Limited-edition prizes like an ATC-branded ENO™ hammock and the new Thru-Hike: The Appalachian Trail board game will also be awarded throughout the evening.

Membership drive sponsors include Still Waters Imagery & Media, Inc.; ENO; Thru-Hike: The Appalachian Trail board game; Campmor; and Hospitality Cover Plus+™ National Insurance Program.

Event Overview:
“Relive the Legacy: The Appalachian Trail”
Date: Thursday, October 9
Time: 8 to 10 p.m.
Location: The Avalon Theatre, 5612 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC
Admission: Tickets begin at $30 at Children 13 and under are admitted for free.

For more information about the event, or to reserve a seat, visit Enter promo code PRAT14 to receive $5 off each ticket.

About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. A unit of the National Park Service, the A.T. ranges from Maine to Georgia and is approximately 2,185 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. The mission of the ATC is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. For more information, please visit

Contact: Javier Folgar                                                                    
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: 304.535.2200 x117
Fax: 304.535.2667
Email: [email protected]

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