BOULDER, COLO. (July 9, 2009) The economy may be sluggish but 154 rock climbers and hikers recently proved that a wholehearted fundraising effort produces big results. The 3rd Annual HERA Climb4Life Colorado held June 26 - 27 in Boulder, raised $60,948 for the HERA Women's Cancer Foundation's ovarian cancer research grant program and awareness initiatives. The fundraising total represents a $20,000 increase over the 2008 event. Hosted by REI and Colorado Mountain School, the Climb4Life Colorado welcomed outdoor enthusiasts to hike and climb in and around the canyons and trails of the Boulder area. This year's hiking option was brand new and attracted 28 hikers, including a family of 14 who came together to honor the memory of their recently deceased matriarch, who had succumbed to ovarian cancer after a long and courageous battle. On the cliffs of Boulder Canyon many local guides and 13 accomplished, professional climbers belayed and led participants to their climbing goals including Boulder residents Heidi Wirtz, current holder of the women's speed record on Yosemite's El Cap, Half Dome and Leaning Tower; and Tonya Riggs, the 20th U.S. woman to have reached the summit of Mt. Everest. To round out the weekend, the event offered morning yoga classes and afternoon massages at the Boulder Rock Club, as well as dinner, live music and slide show.
Participants included men, women and children of varying ages. Those who raised over $750 were given valuable gear packages and special prizes were awarded to the top three fundraisers. Through individual and team efforts, every step walked and every foot climbed raised money and awareness, while honoring the late HERA founder Sean Patrick in her fight to end ovarian cancer. Patrick passed away on January 20, 2009, due to complications related to the disease; this year's event served as a tribute to Sean and provided a powerful sense of reality, and renewed commitment to the cause.
The top three fundraisers were Maile Buker, HERA board president; Lisa Carmichael, Patrick's longtime friend; and ovarian cancer survivor, Maggie Luck. Eden Ellman, another ovarian cancer survivor from Boulder, joined the ranks of the top five fundraisers. The top three fundraising teams included Outdoor DIVAS, who earned the top spot raising nearly $10,000, Team Maggie and Team Donna.
â€œIn this challenging economic time, to achieve a 50 percent increase in fundraising is phenomenal,â€ says Maile Buker, HERA board president. â€œThe Colorado event's success is attributed to the local volunteers who remain committed to the mission of the HERA Foundation, and to the individual and team fundraisers. The HERA Foundation extends its sincere gratitude to the Colorado front range communities and to the many local and outdoor industry sponsors who continue to support HERA's mission.â€
One in 57 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year, yet only 24 percent of ovarian cancer is caught in the early stages. For more information on ovarian cancer, visit www.herafoundation.org. The next C4L event is the 8th Annual C4L Utah, in Salt Lake City, slated for September 17 - 20, 2009.
HERA Climb4Life Seven Summit Sponsors:
Arc'teryx, Black Diamond Climbing Equipment, BlueWater Ropes, Boulder Rock Club, Colorado Mountain School, Evolv, FoxRiver, Guyot Designs, MadRock Climbing, Mountain Hardware, Omega Pacific, Patagonia, Petzl, prAna, REI, Rock & Ice, Sea to Summit, SMC, Stonewear Designs, Trail Runner Magazine, The North Face, Utah Mountain Adventures and Women's Adventure Magazine.
About the HERA Foundation
The HERA Foundation is a registered 501 (c) 3, whose mission is to stop the loss of women and girls ovarian cancer by empowering women to take control of their health, empowering the medical community to find new directions in ovarian cancer research and empowering communities to provide support. HERA is an acronym for Health, Empowerment, Research and Awareness. For more information, visit www.herafoundation.org.