In October, 2014, I will lead a group of friends and climbers up Mount Kilimanjaro.
At 19,340 feet, Kilimanjaro is the highest point in Africa; it is a great challenge, and a wonderful climb. This will be my sixth expedition to Kilimanjaro, and an exciting one as my teammates and I will be yet again raising money for one of the biggest challenges facing the world today: water.
Since 2011, through my Challenge21 project, we’ve raised nearly $300,000 for global safe water and sanitation. We’ll be pushing onward in 2014, raising more money, this time working with the great team at charity:water. Learn more about charity:water here, and the water crisis in general through the video below:
We have set a big goal for ourselves on this expedition – and not just in climbing the mountain. We’re also aiming to raise $19,340 for charity:water, $1 for every foot of altitude of Kilimanjaro. Please learn more about, and donate to, our campaign here. As with every Challenge21 project and climb, every single penny raised will go straight to solving the global water crisis.
I am excited – and honored – to be teaming up with such a great crew for this expedition. They’re hard working, dedicated professionals, and looking to not only have a great adventure this October, but make a real difference in our world at the same time. The team includes:
Please stay tuned to The MountainWorld Blog for updates before, during, and after our expedition, and follow us on social media as well. And, please donate to charity:water if you can.
Matt Granger – Climber
Hailing from New England and now residing in Atlanta, Matthew Granger (Grange) was voted “Most Likely to Forget Something Important for Summit Day” by the team. Though retaining his position as the Czar of Morale and Cocktails, he is considering authoring a new book “From Couch to Summit: A Forty-something’s Guide To Not Kili-ng Yourself.”
After threatening to trek with longtime family friend Jake Norton for many years, Grange’s persistence finally won out on an alpine adventure, which will surely put Jake’s guiding expertise to the test.
Grange works in Pharmaceutical Development and enjoys music, sports, family and friends, and spoiling his twin niece and nephews, Cate and Luke, 10. He is a graduate of Suffield Academy and Marietta College.
Always up for a good challenge, Grange is excited for the climb, experience with his teammates, and helping (with YOUR help) a great organization like charity: water, which helps bring clean water to the people of the Sahel region of Africa.
See you on the top!
Halle Griffee – Climber
Halle Griffee might be the best juggler you’ve never heard of. Originally from the famous Northcoast of Ohio, she’s spent the last 20 years in the “City in the Forest” – Atlanta GA. She’s a freelance commercial producer by trade, and most importantly a mother of two amazing kids – Morgan (13) and Sean (10). It’s a fact. She’s not biased.
Halle is also a voiceover talent whose unforgettable raspy voice can be heard on Investigate Discovery, as well as numerous radio and TV commercials for clients such as Northside Hospital, University of Georgia, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Chinette, Time Warner Cable and several others.
In her spare time, Halle tolerates running, loves to travel, cook and read (3 pages at a time), and is looking forward to getting a new family dog in October.
Halle loves challenges and is excited to raise awareness and money for clean drinking water in developing countries; while checking something big off her bucket list – Kilimanjaro.
Karen Joynt – Climber
Karen Joynt is a cardiologist and health policy researcher at Harvard, and is spending this year in Washington D.C. working as a senior advisor in health policy in the Department of Health and Human Services.
She is an avid sports enthusiast, but this will be her first attempt to scale a big mountain.
She is thrilled to be part of such an amazing group of people trekking up to this beautiful summit for a great cause!
Liz Withers – Climber
Liz lives in Denver, Colorado where she likes to road bike, hike, spend time with family and friends, and work as an emergency physician.
Liz has participated in various medical and water projects in developing countries, and she is always reminded of the importance of clean water, sanitation, and disease prevention.
She is enthusiastic about raising money to support clean water in Tanzania, where our group will have the opportunity to enjoy the challenge of hiking up Kilimanjaro.
Tom Maddox – Climber
Tom Maddox is a Denver-based cardiologist working with U.S. veterans, an associate professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and a health care researcher.
As part of his educational and research missions, he travels to Zimbabwe once a year to instruct medical residents in clinical and research matters.
After completing his work there this year, he is looking forward to joining this fantastic group to summit Kilimanjaro and raise awareness and money towards providing safe and clean water to those in need.
John Dalton – Climber
John Dalton is an orthopaedic surgeon at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta and a clinical associate professor at Emory University where he teaches surgical residents.
The opportunity to climb Kilimanjaro was presented to him by his friend, medical school classmate and co-trekker, Tom Maddox. Initially hesitant to join due to his lack of climbing experience and the relatively high partial pressure of oxygen in Atlanta, he quickly signed onto the trip when he learned of this great team and noble cause.
John is excited to be part of this dynamic group and to bring attention to the water crisis, not just in Tanzania, but throughout Africa. The key to improving the health of this continent starts at its water supply. He hopes you join us in our campaign.
Mel Anderson – Climber
Mel Anderson is the Chief of Hospital Medicine at the Denver VA Medical Center and an avid medical educator.
Along with Dr. Maddox, he also spends time at the University of Zimbabwe as a visiting professor helping with faculty development and providing teaching to trainees.
Mel serves as one of the Associate Program Directors for the University of Colorado Internal Medicine Residency Program.
He enjoys spending time with spouse Maria, daughter Claire, rescue dog Kingsley, and Ducati GT 1000 motorcycle yet unnamed.
Maria Anderson – Climber
At two weeks of age, Maria floated in a small wicker basket down the Delaware River from her birthplace in Trenton, NJ to a town outside of Philadelphia. There she learned to pronounce “water” as “wudder.”
Later, living in Boston, California, Providence, and Denver, she found herself unable to speak of the world’s most important resource without giving widespread audible offense. She now will make amends by climbing Africa’s most prominent peak, raising money and awareness of the need for clean wudder around the world. She means water.
Water. Water. Water. Wudder. AAARGH! WATER!!
Julie Brassard – Climber
This will be Julie Brassard’s first hiking endeavor. In fact, prior to any Kilimanjaro training, the only way she found her way to a summit was by a chair-lift. Inspired by good friend Jake Norton, a good bit of conspiring with her co-hiker brother Matt, and a as of yet unexplained desire to push her personal limits, Julie found her way to this awesome team and daring new adventure.
Julie lives in Needham MA with her husband Peter, dog Bodhi and her first real adventure – ten year old twins Cate and Luke. When not refereeing sibling rivalry, relearning 5th grade math and attending countless kids sporting events, Julie manages to squeeze in a full-time job as Marketing Director for Boston-based Liberty Mutual Insurance.