Students Climb Mountain for Haiti Fundraiser

April 20, 2011 - News Release

Three University of Guelph students plan to climb a mountain to raise money for disaster relief in Haiti.

Thomas Dickson, Rebecca Kits and Larry Morgan will climb Mount Rainier near Seattle, Wash., May 19 to raise funds for their Height 4 Haiti campaign.

Although more than a year has passed since Haiti was devastated by an earthquake, the three students hope their fundraiser will remind people that the country still needs aid.

“Haitians still need our help,” said Kits. “We can’t forget that, once the initial aid has been met, there is still so much more to be done in rebuilding people’s lives and the country itself. As it stands, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and a disaster like this simply cannot be fixed without our help.”

The students aim to raise $7,000.

With less than three years’ worth of combined climbing experience, they plan to ascend the highest mountain in Washington State. Mount Rainier is 14,400 feet high and is capped by a glacier. It will take two days to climb.

“We chose Mount Rainier because it poses a legitimate climbing challenge and sets a high physical and mental goal,” said Dickson. “It’s definitely going to take some physical training.”

After a day of special training at the base, they will climb to an overnight camp partway up the mountain. They will climb to the summit on the following morning, accompanied by a guide.

“The goal is to leave just before sunrise so we can reach the summit by noon, because we will need the rest of the daylight to get back down the mountain,” said Morgan.

Possible avalanches, falling ice and rock, and bad weather make this climb treacherous, he added.

“There is a 50-per-cent chance that we will be able to make it to the summit,” he said. “Many climbers are forced to turn around because of harsh conditions.”

Dickson came up with the idea after a friend climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds to fight AIDS.

“When I heard about the disaster in Haiti, I felt compelled to do something,” he said. “I enjoy the outdoors and climbing and thought climbing a mountain to raise money would be a great way to help the people of Haiti. I am hoping this adventure will help remind people that, even though the effects of the earthquake have disappeared from the headlines, the people of Haiti still need our help to rebuild what was lost.”

For more information on Height 4 Haiti and to donate, visit

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338,, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982,

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