Archive for September, 2012

Not Just A Walk In The Park: Two Men Complete First-Ever Trek Around Death Valley National Park

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Death Valley, CA – This month, extreme endurance athlete Marshall Ulrich and firefighter Dave Heckman finished an unprecedented expedition, going on foot around the perimeter of Death Valley National Park during the hottest part of summer, completely unaided and unassisted. They began on July 22 and concluded 16 days later on August 7.

While others have trekked in this area, no one has attempted to circumnavigate the park, and certainly not during the height of summer when the threat of dehydration and heat stroke are dire. To grasp the gravity of this, consider that on the same day Ulrich and Heckman finished their trek, another accomplished ultrarunner died in Death Valley after just a few hours under the blazing sun.

To survive the scorching 120°+ temperatures and be self-sufficient even as they moved through remote areas, crossed six mountain ranges with a total of about 40,000 feet of elevation gain, and covered approximately 425 miles, the men had buried water, food, and supplies along their route two months earlier. Nearly all of the 37 caches were intact; in one, the water had leaked out, and a few were invaded by insects, but none of this created a shortage and they had enough water and food to sustain them throughout the journey.

Still, at 5’9″, 61-year-old Ulrich dropped 10 pounds, and Heckman, who is 5’11″ and age 38, dropped 25 pounds. They attribute the rapid weight loss to the exertion and adaptation required to complete 20 to 34 miles a day in an extreme environment.

They saw no other hikers along the way, just a couple of cars and one park ranger, some hardy desert animals and plants, hundreds of defunct mining sites, Charlie Manson’s old hiding place, an active gold mine, several ghost towns, and jaw-dropping landscapes. More than anything else, they encountered solitude.

Ulrich remarked, “It’s amazing how self-sufficient you can become. When you strip away all the luxuries we’re accustomed to in day-to-day living, you realize how little you really need, how distracting a lot of that stuff is, and how it gets in the way of a certain peacefulness you can find within yourself without it.

“Probably the most beautiful thing we experienced was waking up at night and realizing that our only ceiling was the stars.”

This groundbreaking circumnavigation of Death Valley National Park constitutes a previously unimaginable feat, but it’s hardly Ulrich’s first successful outing. He’s completed the Badwater Ultramarathon (also run in Death Valley and known as “the toughest footrace in the world”) more times than anyone else, won the race more times than anyone else, set and holds records there, and was the first to run it four times in a row as well as run it solo, completely unaided and self-supported. All told, he’s competed in more than 100 races of more than 125 miles each and a dozen multi-day adventure races. In his fifties, Ulrich summitted the highest peaks on each continent, including Mount Everest, on first attempts.

Without question, his toughest undertaking was at age 57, when he went 3,063 miles on foot from San Francisco to New York City. He was attempting to break a world record established by a man half his age, and he ultimately set two new records by completing the third fastest trans-American crossing in history. He included all this in his book, Running on Empty: An Ultramarathoner’s Story of Love, Loss, and a Record-Setting Run Across America.

When Ulrich first heard Heckman’s plan to circumnavigate Death Valley National Park on foot, he thought it was not only crazy but impossible. Now, Ulrich happily admits he was only half right. Heckman insists this was one of the best ideas he’s ever had, second only to getting married and having kids. The two men shared highs and lows, and times when they questioned whether they would survive, but they are grateful for the experience.

The Death Valley expedition was professionally filmed, and Ulrich and Heckman also shot 3-D footage. They hope it will be used to create a documentary that highlights the history of the national park and raises important questions about its future.

Please visit www.MarshallUlrich.com for a closer look at Ulrich’s adventures.

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Trish Stevens

Jillian M. Sachtleben
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Office: (281) 333-3507
jillian@ascotmediagroup.com

www.ascotmediagroup.com

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Music Legends Launching World Tour To Promote Peace Through Music – Grammy Winning Artists Highlight Concerts Commemorating U.N. Peace Day

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Los Angeles, CA — Legendary blues/rock musicians (present or former band members with Toto, Asia, Eric Clapton, Guns N’ Roses, Dave Matthews Band, Carole King, Sergio Mendes, Lionel Richie, and many others) are forming a new all-star band to promote world peace through music. They will combine with internationally-renowned music masters from nine world cultures to launch a world tour, beginning with three concerts in Southern California this month, in celebration of U.N. International Peace Day.

The concerts to promote U.N. Peace Day began three years ago through a joint venture between the United Nations and Listen for Life, which was founded in 1998 as a global family of music listeners, performers, and producers. The Listen for Life All-Star Band is the latest effort to expand the reach of the “global peace through music” mission, and follows prior Listen for Life concerts to commemorate U.N. Peace Day in the U.S., Bosnia, Croatia, Kenya, and the U.K.

“We are launching the all-star global concert tour in the Los Angeles area because of its music industry roots, and the springboard the area has offered to many legendary performers who believe music can bridge global discord,” said Donna Stoering, Founder of Listen for Life.

International recording artists from India, China, Vietnam, Bulgaria, and the Mid-East are among those scheduled to perform at the concerts in Southern California. They will represent nine world cultures, and will play 17 different instruments unique to their region. “The way these instruments come together in harmony is the way we hope to unite musicians from around the globe in the spirit of world peace,” said Stoering.  “That message will permeate all of the concert performances by the Listen for Life All-Star Band and ethnic music masters, worldwide, in the coming months and beyond.”

The Listen for Life Musicfests in Southern California will be on Sept. 21 in Mission Viejo, September 27 at the Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood, and September 29 at the famed Ramona Bowl amphitheatre in Hemet. For further information on locations, venues and tickets, see www.listenforlife.org/peaceday.

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Trish Stevens

Jillian M. Sachtleben
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Office: (281) 333-3507
jillian@ascotmediagroup.com

www.ascotmediagroup.com

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Music With A Purpose: To Change Lives And The World

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Houston, TX – Vaughaligan “Von Won” Walwyn was born in the U.S. Virgin Islands and raised on Houston’s southeast side. After this all-American athlete and record holder in long jump had a career-ending knee injury about the same time he lost his father to AIDS, it put him on a journey of bad decisions which lead him to being repeatedly tazed and abused by police – on a night he refers to as “Shock Therapy.”

This event pushed Von Won to put down his reckless lifestyle of drinking, drug abuse and chasing riches, to living a life of integrity. Von Won Walwyn has emerged as an inspirational recording artist, writer and powerful motivational speaker, who challenges youth and young adults around the world to pursue their dreams and overcome all obstacles to reach their goal.

Walwyn also heads up Von Won Ministries in Houston; a faith based organization that targets at-risk youth in its ‘Mission Possible’ program. While this ministry is spearheaded by Von Won, it supports several ministers and operates in many dynamic functions that share a common goal – to change the world through faith-based media.

Von Won Walwyn is a graduate of Rice University, all-American athlete/rapper, and a dedicated husband and father whose transition released him from drugs and alcohol and empowered him to become a successful gospel artist and motivational speaker.

Von Won set out to change the negative impact many of today’s role models in music and athletics have had on young people and, by raising the bar, he has now given America’s youth a positive role model to emulate!

Von Won Walwyn has been featured in the Houston Chronicle and appeared on the Great Day Houston television show, CW News Fix and more. He has also been the opener for Fred Hammond, T.D. Jakes and Kirk Franklin, among other great celebrities.

For more information on this motivating speaker whose goal is not only to change lives but to change the world, please visit: www.vonwon.com.

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a=””> Trish Stevens

Jillian M. Sachtleben
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Office: (281) 333-3507
jillian@ascotmediagroup.com

www.ascotmediagroup.com

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A Practical Guide To Kick Almost Any Addiction

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Brentwood, TN – Millions of people live what appear to be normal lives, yet they are secretly numbing their emotional pain with alcohol, drugs, food and many other lifestyle addictions. Michael Cartwright knows all about it; he transformed his life, becoming clean, sober and a respected pioneer in the recovery field. Now he shares his success in a practical and readable book, Believable Hope: Five Essential Elements to Beat Any Addiction (HCI).

“There was a time when the world wrote me off as just another useless addict with no home, no money and no future,” Cartwright says. “If I hadn’t found my own believable hope, my addiction and mental health issues would have definitely killed me.”

This book offers a real source of hope powerful enough to save your life or the life of your loved one.  Believable Hope is a proven methodology with a five-pronged approach that has helped tens of thousands of people over the years. With personal accounts and principles that will help anyone put an end to addictive behavior, Cartwright reveals why lasting change is only possible when a person truly believes in the possibility of change.  

“No matter what obstacles you may have, Believable Hope delivers the solution in the form of Five Essential Elements,” Cartwright continues. “With these, absolutely anybody can eliminate whatever stands between them and their wildest dreams.”

He has become a leading expert on recovery, serving on the Senate subcommittee on Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services and conducting 15 federally funded research studies to determine specific treatments most successful in the recovery process. As Chairman of the Board for American Addiction Centers, Michael Cartwright oversees thousands of people in treatment for drugs, alcohol, food, obesity, gambling and smoking. Michael Cartwright’s newest venture is FitRX, a remarkably effective physician-directed weight loss retreat facility just outside Nashville, TN. He is an avid fitness enthusiast; Cartwright has experienced firsthand the dramatic transformation possible through Believable Hope, losing 60 pounds in five months.

Michael Cartwright is also the founder of Foundations Associates, now with four alcohol and drug treatment facilities nationwide. He recently launched an annual national conference focusing not only on drug and alcohol addiction but on all lifestyle addictions: food, obesity, sex, pornography, gambling, smoking and gaming.

There is no end in sight for Michael Cartwright. He has a sincere goal to provide endless resources to those who truly want freedom from the grip of addiction.

Please see: www.believablehope.com/

Believable Hope
HCI
ISBN 0757317308
$13.29

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Trish Stevens

Jillian M. Sachtleben
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Office: (281) 333-3507
jillian@ascotmediagroup.com

www.ascotmediagroup.com

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The Emotional Cost of the Struggle To Be An American

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Asheville, NC – The author might not be Jewish, but City of Slaughter (Daniel and Daniel Publishers, Inc.) by Cynthia Drew is beautifully written from a Jewish perspective, with meticulous research that provides a powerful picture of the plight of women at the beginning of the 20th Century, and the obstacles they were forced to overcome. Already on Amazon’s list of Best Selling Jewish American Literature and Fiction, City of Slaughter is an exceptional work of historical fiction that is both exciting and inspiring and takes readers back in time to see the world through the eyes of another culture.

When fourteen-year-old Carsie Akselrod’s parents are murdered by Cossacks during a raid on the shtetl, Carsie flees with her younger sister, Lilia, touching off a turbulent journey that ends eight months later on New York’s Lower East Side.  Plunged into the immigrant chaos of the most crowded square mile on earth, the two girls take sweatshop jobs – Carsie as a milliner’s apprentice and Lilia at the ill-fated Triangle Waist Company. It never occurs to Carsie that in her haste to live the life she strives for in America she hasn’t stopped to lament her parents’ deaths.

Life in the tenements shocks Carsie and is definitely not what she envisioned in her new life. When her first love, a gangster named Arnold Rothstein, leaves her for a showgirl she smothers her grief and anger once more. But when her sister is killed in the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire, (until 9/11 the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of New York City), Carsie is powerless to mourn in any way and is haunted by all she has lost in her struggle to be American. Alone and on the edge of madness, she tries to fight back against everything that has wronged her. 

Set against Tammany Hall politics, gangland crime, and the rise of the American garment trade, City of Slaughter runs the gamut of human emotion in a tale of a woman torn by love, family, faith and a drive for fulfillment to claim her place in New York’s fashionable high society. 

This profound historical tale, told through the lives of rich and engaging characters, propels readers into a time where faith, hope and inner strength were pivotal to a woman’s survival. The rave reviews on this extraordinary story confirm how the unexpected turns of events that take place in the life of its lead character make for one exhilarating read, not easy to put down.

Cynthia Drew’s short stories have appeared in numerous literary journals and she teaches Creative Writing at UNC/Asheville’s Reuter Center. She worked for several years in New York’s garment district, where she became aware of the sweatshops that even today are peopled by immigrants. For more information on Cynthia Drew and her heartfelt debut novel, please visit her website at: Trish Stevens

Jillian M. Sachtleben
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Office: (281) 333-3507
jillian@ascotmediagroup.com

www.ascotmediagroup.com

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