The power of partnership: Summit for Stollery

On October 4, a group of community-minded, hard-working Edmontonians boarded a plane to Tanzania, for the adventure of a lifetime—climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds as part of the Summit for Stollery fundraiser for the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation.

The trek was spearheaded by past Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation board chair, Richard Kirby. The team, including Foundation president and CEO Mike House and Lois Hole Hospital Women's Society founder and co-chair Krista Ference and member, Jenny Adams, spent more than a year training and fundraising for the climb.

Even though House was well prepared for the climb, there were times when he felt like he couldn’t take another step. 

“That’s when I would remember people telling me ‘think of two things: donors and kids,’” he says. “It helped me put one foot in front of the other. It was also comforting to know donors were behind our team; making it possible for the Stollery to offer the best care, research and teaching so more kids can live longer, healthier lives.”

Battling freezing temperatures, snow and altitude sickness, the team reached the top of Africa’s tallest mountain at 19,500 feet on October 13. They were also successful on another front—surpassing their goal of raising $1 million. Funds will support physical and mental health programs at the Stollery Children’s Hospital, and Foundation initiatives that support kids beyond the Hospital’s four walls.

The portion raised by Ference and Adams is being dedicated toward perinatal research through the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute. The pair note that this experience provided them with an incredible lesson to teach their children. “Sacrifice, hard work and being outside your comfort zone to help those in need is one of the greatest gifts you can give.”

The Summit for Stollery is still accepting donations. Visit their fundraising page for more information.


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