HOLY COW - Bongo's Chillimanjaro goes to the top of Kilimanjaro!
Remember those nights down the pub where after a few cool and frosty pints a mate makes a suggestion and you (feeling no pain) say "Brilliant idea, totally up for that!" That's precisely what happened to our customer Graham Jones from the Wirral. Late one night, in his local libation factory, his best mate of 35 years Alex suggested climbing Kilimanjaro before they both turned 40 and so began their "Mid-Life Mountain Challenge" - Alex writes:
"Graham and I both believe that upon reaching the ripe old age of 40 this year we should commit to a challenge and at the same time raise money for charity. So this is a self-funded challenge with everything we raise (plus gift aid matching) going to two charities that are worthy causes.
75% of what we raise will go to CLIC Sargent, a charity in the United Kingdom formed in 2005. The charity specializes in supporting children and young people with cancer, and their families. It provides clinical, practical, financial and emotional support to help children cope with cancer and get the most out of life.
The remaining 25% will go to CALM a UK charity launched in March 2006. It was a campaign aimed at bringing the suicide rate down among men. Suicide currently stands as the biggest single killer of men aged under 45 in this country. CALM promote a free, confidential and anonymous helpline as well as a web chat service, open seven nights a week, offering help, advice and information to men who are experiencing depression or crisis."
Earlier this year at West Kirby Farmers Market we met Graham when he pointed at a jar of Chillimanjaro and asked how we came up with the name. Bongo told him about being on the tour bus and how the boys in the band started talking about chilli mountains. That's when Graham told us about his planned trip. Jokingly Manny said that he should take a jar up there and send us a pic back.....never thinking for a moment, of course, that this would become a reality.
A couple of weeks ago Graham called us and asked for some artwork to take up the mountain for us and do a pic at the top, we sent him a T-Shirt too - to help keep him warm obviously. We were totally BUZZED! What a cool thing to happen! Today Graham wrote and told us THAT THEY GOT TO THE TOP AND BACK! And here are the pics to prove it!
This was a serious challenge these gents took on. Kilimanjaro is the highest freestanding mountain in the world and also the highest mountain on the African continent at 5895m. They walked for 8 to 10 hours a day at high altitude, in all weathers, camping each night with no personal comforts, washing or bathroom facilities. As Alex wrote:
"This is not a holiday but a commitment by us to achieve something amazing and raise money for worthy causes."
So chilli folks and Bongo's friends - I'm asking if you can spare a few quid to help these outstanding boys to reach their goal of raising an ambitious target of £5,895.00 (the summit altitude of Kilimanjaro) we're definitely going to sponsor them and we hope that you will too. They've raised £4215.00 so far towards their target, so lets see if we can help them a little closer for these amazing charities. Just click on the link below and it'll take them to their Virgin page.
So congratulations to both Alex and Graham, glad you're both back safe and sound, we hope you recover soon! We are delighted and thrilled to have been taken along on your challenge. Never in a million years when Manny was on that tour bus or when we started this crazy idea nearly 2 years ago, would we have thought that this might even have been a possibility - it's truly an honour, Chillimanjaro on Kilimanjaro...A huge THANK YOU for thinking of us. And as a little "muscle recovery" we're sending you a help package - only you eat the pickles not rub them into sore feet!
All photos published here with kind permission of Graham Jones and Alexander Shield and may not be reproduced without their express consent in writing. Failure to obtain such permission will result in a breach of copyright.