Three generations of Wisconsin women embark on Yosemite adventure for disaster relief

Media Contact: Jeremy Jacobs, Communications Director, [email protected]

JULY 24, 2023 — Three generations of women from a Wisconsin family will set out on a demanding hike through California’s Yosemite Valley next month to raise money for the international disaster relief organization ShelterBox USA.

Frances Wargolet, 77, Katrina Wargolet Kyne, 49, and Sophie Kyne, 13, will begin their hike Aug. 13. Over the following three days, they’ll climb one of Yosemite’s iconic domes, the North Dome, and summit the nearly 11,000-foot Mount Hoffman.

They are hiking for ShelterBox, a global nonprofit that provides emergency shelter and other lifesaving supplies after disasters and in conflict zones.

Frances, who lives in Bristol, Wis., said she was drawn to ShelterBox because it seeks to address one of the biggest challenges in the world: currently, more than 110 million people have been forced from their homes. She became more involved after the war in Ukraine broke out last year.

“There are more displaced people in the world than ever before,” Frances said. “I was astonished by Russia’s attacks on Ukraine last year and the recent earthquakes that devastated areas of Turkey and Syria. I thought, ‘What can I do to help?’ I responded by becoming an ambassador for ShelterBox.”

Frances will be joined on the hike by her daughter, Katrina, a 22-year Army veteran who served in Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Iraq and has seen firsthand the devastation caused by conflict in those countries. Frances’ 13-year-old granddaughter, Sophie completes the family group participating in the hike. The trio has experience hiking together. They frequently hiked in Oahu when Katrina was stationed there.

Frances Wargolet, 77, Katrina Wargolet Kyne, 49, and Sophie Kyne, 13, pose for a photo.
Frances Wargolet, 77, Katrina Wargolet Kyne, 49, and Sophie Kyne, 13, will set out on a hike in Yosemite Valley to raise funds and awareness of ShelterBox.

ShelterBox was founded in 2000 by a Rotary Club in England with the goal of providing families everything they need immediately after disasters. It remains Rotary International’s official project partner for disaster relief, and Frances is a local Rotary Club member.

Since its founding, ShelterBox has helped more than 2.5 million people, responding to more than 300 crises in nearly 100 countries. Known for its iconic green box, ShelterBox works with disaster-struck communities to provide customized aid packages that can include tents, cook sets, solar lanterns, mattresses, mosquito nets, water filters, and other items.

“We are so grateful for supporters like Fran, Katrina, and Sophie,” said ShelterBox USA President Kerri Murray. “They are personifying so much about ShelterBox by translating their passion and determination into a project that will help those who need it most around the world.”

The ShelterBox USA Adventurers Trek in Yosemite will take place Aug. 13-16.

For more information about the hike and their fundraising goals can be found here at

To learn more about ShelterBox, please visit


Holly Rickett, an emergency response legal expert and county attorney, has joined ShelterBox’s Board of Directors.


Dr. Richard Columbia, an international development expert with over 40 years of experience, has joined the Board of Directors at ShelterBox USA.


Noaman Sharief has joined the Board of Directors at ShelterBox USA in the role of Treasurer.