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Mount Kilimanjaro, often referred to as Mount Kili, is considered to be the Roof of Africa. The highest point on the continent, Mount Kili stands some 19,340 feet above sea level in the northern section of Tanzania. Several years ago I was blessed to visit Tanzania and to see the mountain from afar. During this trip I had the opportunity to visit The Ayalabe Primary School located in the Arusha Region and Karatu District. The trip and, in particular, my visit to the school was one of the most moving experiences of my life. While the physical conditions of the facilities were in need of significant repair or replacement the attitude and enthusiasm of the children was extraordinary. Their desire to share and to learn was amazing. As the result of this incredible experience my wife, Renee and I, committed to building a new classroom for the children. The project was completed in 2009. Pictures can be viewed at under the "Past Projects" section.

Fast forward to current. The Lord has blessed me greatly over the years. Our charitable foundation, The Thanks Be To God Foundation, was founded on the belief that "To Whom Much Is Given Much Is Required". The foundation supports primarily two very worthwhile causes. The first cause is to support children across the globe. A few of the organizations that have received support include Big Brothers/Big Sisters, The Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Campus Crusade For Christ, The TBTG Scholarship fund and others. Our second focus is to support entrepreneurship. A significant initiative in this area includes our support for KIVA. Our Kiva group, TBTG Foundation, provides micro loans to small businesses in developing countries. To date approximately 439 loans have been provided. As loans are repaid those dollars are lent to other aspiring entrepreneurs.

For several months I have been thinking and praying about returning to Tanzania, specifically to climb Mt. Kili in order to raise the awareness of the challenges faced by our youth in Tanzania and also in Central Ohio. I also am hoping to use this adventure to raise funds for the children along with the awareness. I will pay 100% of my expenses to travel to Tanzania and also for the climb. I have booked reservations to travel to Tanzania on September 2, 2011 and begin the ascent to the roof of the continent. Following what I believe will be a successful summit I plan to spend a few days working on service projects prior to my return.

I am happy to report that not only did we reach our goal of raising $15,000 for charities we will indeed surpass $60,000, of which 50% will be provided to Central Ohio based charities and 50% to projects in Africa. I am hopeful that this effort will gain significant momentum and that this target will be far exceeded. Donors supporting this effort can designate, at the time of their contribution to the TBTG Foundation (located at The Columbus Foundation) which local organization they would like their funds to support. During the coming months I will provide periodic updates on my progress in terms of both training and my fund raising goal. All donations will be distributed immediately to the designated charities upon my return to the US in late September.

It is not often in life that we have the opportunity to combine activities that we enjoy with causes that we are passionate towards. I believe that the climb will be challenging but doable. I will certainly be inspired by, and would greatly appreciate your encouragement, prayers and financial support. Again remember that 100% of your donation is tax deductible and no contributions will be used to supplement my expenses. I will carry your well wishes and love for our children with me to the summit of Mt. Kili. Please e-mail me at should you have any questions or would like additional information. You can donate directly via our website or at The Columbus Foundation located at 1234 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205. Should you wish to donate via the Columbus Foundation please designate your contribution to The Thanks Be To God Foundation (Mt. Kili Ascent) Thank you, one thousand times.