Paul Monahan and his son Kevin, both of Strongsville, will take a long walk next week -- all the way across the Grand Canyon.
Their risky 22-mile hike from the canyon's North to South Rim Oct. 16 is part of the inaugural Steps for Soldiers event.
The one-day challenge is expected to raise more than $30,000 for Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that helps members of the military who have been injured.
"Wounded Warriors live with their challenges every day. If we can raise some money - as well as the hopes and aspirations of these selfless warriors - we can change lives," Paul Monahan said.
Sixteen hikers from across the United States who share Monahan’s interest in adventure -- as well as his desire to serve to disabled veterans -- will join him.
“This challenge made a lot of sense to me when I thought about how to serve in an extraordinary way. Many of my friends have stepped up big-time to be a part of this,” Monahan said.
His son Kevin, a junior at Strongsville High School, is excited about the upcoming trip.
“I really love the idea of taking on a cool challenge in a place like the Grand Canyon. And I love that I can make a real impact -- helping military families,” Kevin said.
Paul Monahan said his goal in organizing the event was to take eight or 10 people out and maybe raise a little money, but the response was "incredible."
"Next year our vision is to have 50 hikers and raise $100,000,” he said.
Both father and son have been training for several months to tackle the challenge of the gorge.
Monahan, 46, a leadership development coach and consultant, estimates the 22-mile, 14-hour hike from the Canyon’s North Rim to South Rim will require more than 60,000 steps, and take the hikers through 11,000 feet in elevation changes.
“It is not technically difficult, but it requires a tremendous amount of endurance,” he said.
The hiking trail leads 14 miles and 6,000 feet down from the North Rim into the Grand Canyon gorge and across the Colorado River, then 8 miles and 5,000 feet up to the Grand Canyon Village at the South Rim.
Temperatures will approach 100 degrees, and the dry air inside the Grand Canyon will require each hiker to drink between two and three gallons of water during the day.
To support Paul or Kevin Monahan visit their fundraising pages at: http://www.crowdrise.com/Stepsforsoldiers/fundraiser/paulmonahan1, or http://www.crowdrise.com/Stepsforsoldiers/fundraiser/kevinmonahan.