Walking with a cause

Natalie Selensky

Imagine being able to travel across the country, seeing all the sights, all on foot and all for a cause. 

This is a reality for Xavier High School alumna Grace Nesseth (X15) and her fiancé Matt Grooms who call themselves the Golden Road team. The couple is making a voyage from California to South Carolina and began in October of 2020. They plan to have it finished by April of 2021. Joined with their dogs, the two plan to travel about 2,700 miles. With great preparation, Nesseth and Grooms packed the necessities and started walking with a good cause in mind. 

Nesseth said Grooms suggested the idea to her one day from a book he read called To Shake the Sleeping Self by Jedidiah Jenkins. She recalled that by the time he got home from work that day, they had already had a plan for a trip, all in effort to support Time in a Bottle. 

Time in a Bottle is a non-profit organization started by Nesseth’s mother, Stephanie Nesseth, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The organization focuses on cleaning homes for families that are battling a life-threatening disease. Nesseth and Grooms have an overall goal of 500K.

“We are trying to raise money and awareness for this nonprofit, and while doing that, spreading love and positivity! Our mission is to help others find love in the little things,” Nesseth said.

Nesseth and Grooms are currently in Arkansas and reached the goal of 100 days of walking on February 7. Throughout their journey, the couple has been met with lots of supporters of their cause and they recently thanked everyone in a video posted to Instagram.  

“We appreciate you guys very much, again, we have raised over $27,000 so far and we have three months left in our journey, so let’s keep that ball rolling. We couldn’t do it without you guys,” Grooms said in a recent IGTV video.

Since then, Nesseth said they have raised $6,000 more for a total of $33,000.

Additionally, Nesseth and Grooms have posted highlights and updates on their social media and have shared many special moments on their trip. 

“Our favorite memory is tied between getting engaged on the walk and finding a dog in the national forest, Nemo,” Nesseth said. 

In a caption on Instagram in October of 2020, Grooms wrote for Nesseth, quoting Beyoncé, that if someone likes it, they should put a ring on it, pictured with Nesseth holding a ring. He included a heartfelt message along with the post announcing their engagement. 

The couple posts continuous updates on their social media and website. Support Grace Nesseth and Matt Grooms, along with Time in a Bottle, at https://www.theggoldenroad.com or @theggoldenroad on social media platforms.