INDIANAPOLIS, IN—Mark Boyle always stays busy during the months he isn't traveling with the Indiana Pacers. You might have seen him last summer serving up lattes at various Hubbard & Craven coffee shops. He can often be heard on the local radio airwaves talking about sports and current events.
This summer he is going on a 500-mile race. Only Boyle isn't joining the IZOD Indycar series, he walking 500 miles around the state of Indiana. What started as a simple personal challenge has turned into something much bigger and more meaningful.
"I wanted to see if I could walk 500 miles, just as a physical challenge. I've been involved at the (Indiana Children's) Wish Fund for a number of years and I thought, if I'm going to walk anyway, I might as well see if I can raise money and I can't think of a better cause or group to do it for than the Wish Fund.
His journey is starting to get quite a bit of attention and Boyle hopes raises quite a bit of money to help make local children's wishes come true.
The following letter from Boyle about the "Wish Walk" can be found at www.thewishwalk.com
Over the years, I've tried to use my time off in the summer to try different things. I've been piranha fishing in the Amazon, spent the summer with a minor league baseball team in Montana, performed in a play at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, and last season I worked part time in a coffee shop to raise money for a scholarship fund.
This summer, I've come with something that I'm very excited about, and I hope you'll become involved in this project with me. Starting August 17th, I'll spend five weeks walking 500 miles around Indiana to raise money for Indiana Children's Wish Fund.
I wanted to challenge myself physically it seems to me that if I don't drop dead, a 500 mile stroll should do the trick and see if I couldn't generate some funds for a good cause at the same time. I came up with this idea last winter, and have been gradually getting ready ever since.
I've been walking between 50 and 80 miles a week for the past few weeks, and though I certainly feel that mileage physically, so far I've suffered no serious wear and tear and my body still appears to be in relatively good working order.
There are any number of worthy causes I could have chosen for this project, but Indiana Children's Wish Fund has always been special to me. I've been involved with the Wish Fund for a long time, and I've seen how these children face often untenable situations with courage, determination, and resolve that is nothing short of inspirational. I consider it a privilege to carry the Wish Fund banner on this journey, and it is my hope that you'll join me in helping these children realize their wishes. Any donation will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you. Mark Boyle
The Pacers and Emmis Communications held a kick-off event in Indianapolis on the Circle. Click the video player at the top of the page for highlights and an interview with Boyle.