Two local residents who are planning to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in September are far from reaching a fundraising goal of $30,000.
In an effort to reach that goal the Cariboo duo along with Team Limitless, a group of visually impaired individuals, are applying for the Holman Prize.
The prize supports the adventurousness and can-do spirit of blind and low vision people around the world. If won, the prize provides financial backing of up to $25,000 for three individuals to push their limits.
Candidates are asked to submit a first-round pitch in a 90 second YouTube video. From there, a select group of semifinalists will submit in-depth written proposals. Finalists will be interviewed by LightHouse staff, the group that launched the prize in 2017.
Since birth, 58-year-old Lori Fry has struggled with vision loss but never let it stop her from living an active lifestyle. Fry is a member of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB), the CCB 100 Mile House and District and the Visually Impaired White Cane Club.
“In ways, many members have been doing fundraising on their own but collectively we decided to apply for the Holman Prize,” said Fry. “This prize would enhance our ability to offset the cost of airfare and more. The application was submitted by the core group in Toronto, and as a member, I am doing my part to spread the word.”
According to Fry, the video with the most likes will automatically move forward into the semifinalist round.
“That is our goal right now – take a moment and check out the video,” said Fry.
A GoFundMe account was created in late August which raised a total of $795. Fry said their goal of $30,000 will also allow them to contribute to charities. One of those charities is called Camp Abilities. It is a high-performance sports camp for visually impaired and blind youth.
“Collectively we are trying to provide hope and inspiration to anyone who is having life challenges, overcome them and to not let it hold them back.”
Fry said she is committed to the trek regardless is the fundraising goal is met.
“We are going to do our best to get ourselves to that mountain and get up it, the best we can.”
According to Google, Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest mountain with an elevation of 5,895 metres. It consists of three volcanic cones – Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira. There are various routes to hike the mountain and may take up to nine days climb.