Team Set to Summit Mt. Baldy, Raise Funds for African Nation By Hollie Reina

A group of Glendorans and other locals will join hikers around the world on June 25, 2011 as they summit some of the highest peaks in the world all in an effort to raise funds and promote global awareness for the impoverished African nation of Swaziland.

‘Summit 4 Hope’ began with the idea of  climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, East Africa  and soon spread to include hiking teams from Taiwan, the United States, Canada and Swaziland all hiking on behalf of an organization called ‘Heart for Africa.’

‘Heart for Africa’ is a Christian faith-based non-profit dedicated to “providing care and hope for a future for children in [the] small African nation [of Swaziland].”

While the AIDS epidemic has left an estimated 200,000 orphans in a country the size of New Jersey and an average life expectancy of 29 years, children are the primary focus of ‘Heart for Africa’ and their many programs.

Programs such as Project Canaan that will help create self-sustainability through farming as well as create income through export and provide education to both children and adults.

According to one of the team leads Sarah Barron of Southland Properties in Glendora, funds raised from the Summit 4 Hope climb will directly benefit three important builds under the Project Canaan banner. The El Roi baby home, a home for orphaned children. The occupational training building. And the ISO building which is an agricultural facility built to package and store food.

Team California which will summit 10,068 ft. Mt. San Antonio (Mt. Baldy) is being led by Glendora resident Wolfgang Buehler. Under his direction several teams of hikers will climb one of three routes to the top of Mt. Baldy where a picture of all the hikers will be taken with the ‘Heart for Africa’ flag.

Buehler, a local business owner said of his involvement with the program, “I’m proud, honored and humbled to be able to assist heart for Africa in helping so many deserving orphans or deserving people.”

Several local organizations have organized groups to hike including, Glenkirk Church, Glendora Ridgerunners, Glendora Village business owners and more.

Zack Swire of Swire Marketing Inc. in Glendora will be leading Team Swire.

Swire, who had always wanted to be involved in philanthropy, spent a great deal of time searching for a project that, as he said, “was not just throwing our money at something.”

Summit 4 Hope clicked with him on a number of levels.

He believed in ‘Heart for Africa’ and the people involved. “Their heart is really there,” he stated.

Swire also liked the physicality of Summit 4 Hope. The idea that you could motivate yourself to do more both physically and charitably was a key reason for his involvement in the summit project.

Mt. San Antonio, more commonly known as Mt. Baldy, is the tallest mountain in the San Gabriel range and in Los Angeles County. Summit hikes will be offered at three different levels and distances including, a 2.5 mile, a four mile and an eight mile hike.

All hiking mileage is measured one-way and the hikes are not considered easy. The shortest route according to Swire is the equivalent of doing Garcia trail twice. The longest route will gain 6,000 feet in elevation en route to the summit.

Team California hopes to have all of its hikers reach the top of Mt. Baldy by 11 a.m. in order to do a group photo shoot.

The collective worldwide goal for Summit 4 Hope is to raise $150,000. Team California will attempt to raise $20,000-$30,000 of that by registering hikers ($35 or $50 with a t-shirt and wristband) and by collecting donations/hiker sponsorships.

June 25 hikes will also take place on the following world peaks:

  • Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,340′) the tallest mountain in Africa.
  • Mt. Jade (12,966′) the tallest mountain in Taiwan.
  • Mt. Hope (3,727′) the highest point at Project Canaan in Swaziland.
  • Mt. Elbert (14,433′) in Colorado, the second tallest mountain in the lower 48 states.
  • Mt. Mauna Kea (13,796′) the tallest mountain in Hawaii
  • Mt. Brasstown Bald (4,784′) the tallest mountain in Georgia.
  • Heart Mountain (7,005′) in Canmore, Alberta, Canada.

To join a hiking team and register to hike or to make a donation to Summit for Hope you can visit http://summit4hope.eventbrite.com or email Zack Swire at zack.swire@goswire.com.

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Grant Me the Wisdom and Strength to do More By: Robert Smucker

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

Each night when I pray at some point during that prayer I will say, “Grant me the wisdom and strength to do more”. What I like most about these verses is that God doesn’t ask us to go out of our way and create new ways to serve Him and others. There are many ways for us to serve, most of which are small things that end up meaning the most to those who need a helping hand or an encouraging word. We are just to remain willing and the opportunities will come to us to use what He has given us. This is the story of how The Summit 4 Hope 2011 came to be.

Two years ago when I first started thinking about another Mt. Kilimanjaro fundraising climb I never intended for it to be anything more than six to eight climbers. It wasn’t until I started recruiting people to join me on the climb in Tanzania that I realized that we could involve climbers, who have a heart for Africa, from different parts of the world including parts of the US, Canada,Taiwan and other parts of Africa.

The number of potential climbers who where interested in the Mt. Kilimanjaro trip grew to over 25, but time and commitments reduced the team down to six. Team Kilimanjaro 2011 is currently made up of: Eleasha Bailey, Larenda Bailey, Linda Ladaga, Heather Martinez, Christian Crouse and me. Each member has committed themselves to train and be in the best physical condition possible to make this climb. I have two goals. The first is to make sure that everyone makes it to Uhure Peak (The highest point in Africa) and back safely, and the second is for the team to raise $100,000+ for Project Canaan in Swaziland.

The idea of having teams climbing different mountains and summiting all on the same day came about when I received an e-mail from James Liao from the Heart for Africa –Taiwan team. James has served in Swaziland with Heart for Africa and is one of the people who I was hoping that would be able to join us on the Mt. Kilimanjaro climb and represent Taiwan on the team, but the timing was not going to work. Instead, James had an even better idea.  He would lead a team of students in

Taiwan to climb Mt Jade, the tallest mountain in Taiwan, while we were climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. That spurred the idea of having other teams climbing a mountain in their area on the same date that we were climbing in Africa and Taiwan and The Summit 4 Hope 2011 concept was alive. I made some phone calls and sent out a couple of e-mails and before we knew it we had eight different climbing teams, in five different countries on 3 different continents all summiting their mountain on July 25th, 2011.  Each individual team will set a financial goal and our overall objective is to raise $100,000 to go towards building phase two of the El Roi baby home and the Kufundza Vocational training center on Project Canaan.

Now there are teams doing Summit 4 Hope climbs on June 25th, 2011 in the US (Hawaii, California, Colorado, Georgia), Alberta Canada, Tanzania, Swaziland and Taiwan. If you would like to join one of these teams or support a climber, please go to: http://www.heartforafrica.org/SummitforHope2011.aspx

Mt. Kilimajaro Team update: Sunday February 20th Linda,Christian, Whitney Crouse, Linda’s UGA roommate Motisha and Robert Smucker did a six hour full pack (25lb – to 30lb) training hike. The hike covering over 12 miles on the Amicalola Falls to Springer Mt trail. The main purpose of this hike was to give Linda and Christian a good feel for where they stand physically and where they need to be. Larenda will be traveling to Alaska to do some training next month. Heather just returned from New Zealand were she did some hiking and mountain climbing and Eleasha continues to workout in Florida.

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