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Local man finishes Appalachian Trail hike, raises $6K

PAINTED POST, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - Back in March, we introduced you to a man who planned to hike the Appalachian trail.

Chris Dieringer wanted to raise awareness for neglected and abused children through CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), a nonprofit organization. 

He completed the trail earlier this month and met with 18 News for the second time on Wednesday.

Now, a bit tanner and sporting a beard, he looks a little different from the first time around. 

Dieringer self-funded his travels to give CASA more exposure. He completed it in seven months from April 9 to November 11 and raised $6,000 for the nonprofit, surpassing its $5,000 goal. 

He faced many challenges between weather, wildlife, and walking thousands of miles. 

He was in contact with his family about once a week, sometimes even less, but is feeling accomplished. 

"I hiked the last mile with my family so that was pretty special and then we spent a couple of days right there in Jasper, Georgia relaxing at a nice little cabin, so (it was) a very special time for me," Dieringer said. 

He collected rocks from Harpers Ferry, Katahdin, and Springer and also kept a passport of stamps from all the hostels he stayed in when the weather was too much to camp out in or his body needed a rest.

Dieringer worked at Corning Incorporated for 20 years before becoming a CASA advocate for over two years. He's not sure if he'll return to the nonprofit just yet. He needs some well-deserved time off for now. 

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