Mount Kilimanjaro climber raises $5,000 for Orangeville Food Bank

August 16, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Jasen Obermeyer

Mono resident Elaine Kehoe successfully raised $5,000 by climbing to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, providing much-needed support for the Orange-ville Food Bank and Dufferin County’s breakfast program.

“It’s one of the nicest and best things I’ve ever done in my life,” she said to the Citizen on her climb and donation.

A realtor with Slavens and Associates, Ms. Kehoe was part of a group of 12 from the Greater Toronto Area and throughout Canada that climbed Kilimanjaro in July for eight days. The mountain is located in Tanzania in Eastern Africa, and is the highest in the continent, standing at about 16,100 feet, from its base, with its peak 19,341 feet above sea level.

Her initial goal was to raise $2,500. But only after a couple weeks since launching her fundraiser in May, she surpassed it and decided to increase it, something she said she was quite happy with. “We’ve got people who are very aware o the need for the food bank and the breakfast program.” Half will go the food bank, and the other half to the County’s breakfast program.

She said the climb “was a little more than I thought” but she had trained hard for it, and although she was prepared for it physically and mentally, “what I wasn’t prepared for was the altitude … but I was determined that I was going to do it.”

Asked to describe the view at the summit, Ms. Kehoe said it was heavenly. “Time really has no limitations,” adding she was up there for about 15 minutes. “You’re in a plane, but you’re really on Earth, and you’re looking down at the clouds that are around you, and the sun was coming up just the pink ting.”

Kilimanjaro has five climate zones, including forests, alpine desert, and arctic weather at the summit. Its high elevation, low temperature, and occasional high winds make it a difficult and sometime dangerous trek.

Ms. Kehoe said the change of climate was “pretty amazing,” and the rain forest in particular was “magnificent.”

She added that she enjoyed climbing the mountain with others like herself, and plans to stay in touch with some of them.

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