Ulster County man sets off on 150-mile journey to raise child abuse awareness
An Ulster County personal trainer is running from the Empire State Building toward the state Capitol to bring awareness to efforts to stop child abuse.
"To get any sort of attention for a cause, to stand out, you have to do something extreme,” says Michael Pittner.
The personal trainer stopped near the city of Hudson to speak with News 12’s Diane Caruso.
“If we can bring awareness to this, it can even be something as simple as a person calling in an anonymous tip or something,” says Michael Pittner. “It’s kind of an awareness thing.”
Pittner tells News 12 his journey is meant to make a difference, especially for children like Gabriel Hernandez. Hernandez’s tragic death was documented in Netflix’s "The Trial of Gabriel Fernandez."
Pittner says he also experienced abuse as a child.
"I did experience abuse in my life. Back when I was in about kindergarten,” says Pittner. "It’s something I've compartmentalized. It wasn't in the family at all."
Pittner hopes his journey will make a change. He’s partnered with Poughkeepsie’s Center for Prevention of Child Abuse for donations.
“Maybe it’s 50 cents of the donation buys the pen that writes down the phone number of an anonymous tip that helps a kid. You know what I mean? It goes way beyond the dollars and cents,” says Pittner.
Although Pittner quickly surpassed his goal of $1,000 before reaching the finish line, the work to protect children still continues.