Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cascadia Expeditions: Outdoor Adventures with Heart

Cascadia Expeditions, owned by Harry Apelbaum and Brett Gallagher, specializes in personalized group outdoor adventures and giving back to the community.  Harry Apelbaum shared his story and the story of Cascadia Expeditions.  

The Mantra:  Outdoor adventures, remarkable memories, and massive amounts of fun.

The History:  Harry and Brett worked together previously at Catherine Freer Wilderness Therapy, a business dedicated to helping troubled youth.  When they learned that business was shutting down, they both knew they still wanted to help people and to share their love for the outdoors.  Inspired by his grandmother (who owned the first woman-owned bicycle messenger company in Chicago), Harry wanted to start his own business. Cascadia Expeditions was born.  

The Expeditions:  Cascadia Expeditions offers custom rafting and  rock climbing adventures to groups ranging from approximately 8 to 20. A group of friends may want to learn to rock climb. Or, an organization may wish to work on team building on a multi-day rafting adventure.  Cascadia Expeditions helps the group choose the appropriate location for their adventure, and then provides the guides, the food, and the specialized equipment for the adventure.  They are beginner and family friendly, creating memorable experiences with loads of fun! 

Giving Back:  Cascadia also operates an adventure out reach program.  "At Cascadia Expeditions, we believe in shared outdoor adventures and giving back to the community we love and belong to.  Our intention is simple: Build partnerships, foster community spirit and spread the outdoor adventure love." 

Cascadia has developed partnerships with P:EAR, which serves homeless youth, and with the Jackson Street Youth Shelter to offer their trips to youth who would not otherwise have this opportunity  They also reach out to other community groups in the area.  One of Harry's most memorable trips was taking a group of youth out to rock climb while they were blind folded.  As Harry described it, "it was amazing to watch these kids overcome their fears while laughing from their bellies."

A little bit about Harry:  Harry grew up in Chicago, and has worked and lived in many cities since turning 18.  He landed in Portland about 5 years ago, and Portland is the first city that felt like home to him.  He is particularly fond of SE Portland which he describes as homey, safe and comfortable.  He loves its eclectic nature and all the different characters out and about.  When Harry isn't leading adventures, he is working part-time at the Clackamas County Juvenile Center helping youth develop their cognitive skills and in the intake center.  

To learn more about Harry, Brett and Cascadia Expeditions, visit their website:  

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