YMCA volunteers start Strong Kids Campaign by climbing equivalent of Mount Everest

By Conner Toffan
February 10, 2019 - 3:24pm Updated: February 11, 2019 - 7:16pm


Medicine Hat, AB— The Medicine Hat YMCA kicked off their Strong Kids campaign by climbing the equivalent distance of Mount Everest.

YMCA’s Strong Kids campaign provides youth and their families with programs and subsidized memberships when they may not be able to afford it themselves.

Last year, the Medicine Hat YMCA was able to subsidize around 417 people.

"It really encourages individuals to look at their overall health and wellness and not have finances as a barrir to achieving their goals,” said Helene Nicholson, Philanthropy Director for the Medicine Hat YMCA.

The volunteer climbers combined to ‘summit Everest’ earlier than expected. To climb Mount Everest, you need to ascend 29,029 feet. The volunteer climbers ended up climbing 35,320 feet in ten hours.

Grace Lydon is a 15 year old who volunteers every week at the YMCA.

“It’s a super cool opportunity cause it’s so fun and not everyone knows about (Strong Kids). I think it’s great for kids to be able to have that opportunity,” said Lydon.

Jo-Anne Reynolds has been volunteering for the YMCA climbing wall since it opened in 2000.

This was the first time an event like this has happened in Reynold’s tenure at the YMCA.

“It’s another way that we can show off the climbing wall and raise money for Strong Kids Campaign. Plus it’s fun,” said Reynolds.

YMCA climbing wall instructor Dylan completed hundreds of climbs on the 20 foot climbing wall.

“We want this wall to be a zoo every day. It’s the only climbing wall in the city so why not have it incredibly busy,” said Look.

The Target for the event was to raise $5,000 dollars for the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign. While the goal was not achieved last during last Saturdays climb, donations will still be open until Friday.

Helene Nicholson believes that the event will have a positive impact beyond finances.

“An event like this really does help to introduce individuals to different opportunities to maintaining their overall health and wellness,” said Nicholson.

No end in sight for extreme cold temperatures in Medicine Hat