To begin…THANK YOU to everyone who has donated, raised funds or taken the time to send me words of encouragement about the climb.
September is here and that means the climb is fast approaching. Preparing for the climb has involved two things: physical training and fundraising. Over the course of the summer I was joined by friends and family on hikes up The Grind, BCMC, Quarry Rock, Two-Canyon Loop and Nihahi Ridge in Kananaskis. Along with hikes, I kayaked, biked and walked for kilometres with Owen on my back or in the stroller. All-in-all, a very successful summer of training.
In terms of fundraising, it has been a slow but steady process as I have not held any events since the end of the school year but have spoken to whoever will listen about the climb and tapped into my networks. There has been two things that have surprised me as I have fundraised over the past two months. The first has been the generosity of those around me. Whether it has been networks of family, friends, West Vancouver colleagues, or international friends/educators, there has been a genuine curiosity and willingness to help through either direct donations or leading a fundraiser. One donation in particular struck me as pretty special. It was from the Machin Family. I taught their youngest daughter Lindsay in my first year of teaching (2001). She was in Grade 2 and I remember her as a smiley kid who loved learning. After losing touch with Lindsay and her family a number of years after I left Walter Lee I was very surprised that they were the first to respond to an email I sent to a scattered number of people, and that they did so with a donation and some kind words about Lindsay’s time in my classroom. Having a former student from so long ago connect with my climb, was an incredibly rewarding experience.
What I have continued to note over the course of my fundraising journey, has been the connection people have with Children’s Hospital. Along with the Machin Family’s donation was a story of Lindsay’s “miracle” cousin Sofie;
“I had a cousin who was born at BC Children’s Hospital in July 2010 and she was only 25 weeks old! She weighed 1.3 lbs and everyone thought she would never make it but she was a fighter! So this is a cause very close to our hearts!”
There was Thomas who wrote on his flag, “Children’s Hospital saved my life.”
Then there was a family I met while Owen and I sold lemonade at Skaha Beach in Penticton. Not the most fruitful of fundraisers but it was made worthwhile by a family who donated and told us that all three of their children had been to Children’s Hospital. In fact, one of their sons had recently had a pacemaker implanted. He is 9.
As my journey progresses and I make personal connections with those who have experiences with Children’s Hospital, I become more aware of the positive impact my climb will have on those who rely on the exceptional medical service provided at Children’s. These encounters are the memories that will come with me as I ascend Mt. Kilimanjaro.
For those interested in participating in a fundraiser or donating to my climb, there are a few opportunities:
Quiz Night at Cascade on Main Street. September 17 at 8pm. It is $2 to play and all the money is donated to Children’s Hospital. The more the merrier!
Kick off to Kilimanjaro at O’Hares Pub in Richmond. September 24th. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased through myself, Don O’Toole and Dave MacNeil. There will be raffles, 50/50 and a silent auction.
Flags of Hope are available with a $40 tax deductible donation. See Craig or donate directly on my Profile. All flags will be taken to the top and returned to you up our return.
Thinking of holding your own fundraiser? GO FOR IT! Every little bit counts.
Thank you again for your support. The journey continues…