Legendary Musicians Perform Atop Mt. Kilimanjaro
Rock n' Roll legends from The Fixx, The Gin Blossoms, Squeeze and The Stray Cats, will join Nick Harper, and LHS co-founders Mike Peters of The Alarm along with survivors and supporters in a challenging music-fueled trek through the Tanzanian wilderness devoted to providing care to a region in desperate need of cancer awareness and support.
"Kilimanjaro Rocks" will take participants through the breathtaking African landscape of Tanzania where they will embark from the forest edge of Kilimanjaro National Park with prayer flags in hand, music in their minds, and a determination to bring love, hope and strength to the people of East Africa. Hikers will complete the seven-day ascent to the 19,341-foot summit of Kilimanjaro's Uhuru Peak with a symbolic acoustic performance, and the unveiling of 6,000 prayer flags baring the names of family and friends who have been touched by cancer.
The journey will culminate on October 8th with a traditional feast and celebration with the Maasai community, featuring dancing, singing and rejoicing with the LHS "Kilimanjaro Rocks" team.
"Most people don't realize that cancer is going to be the leading cause of death in the world by 2010," said James Chippendale, Co-Founder of the Love Hope Strength Foundation. "We are here to raise awareness and levels of cancer care in East Africa through the power of music and the global community tuning in online".
As with Peru Rocks, when millions of people from around the globe watched footage from the day's journey and participated via a dedicated website, the LHS foundation has established an interactive trekker journal for "Kilimanjaro Rocks" (http://www.lovehopestrength.org/kili) as a way for cancer supporters around the world to join in this historic effort. Family and friends can send letters and support messages through the website for the team to receive daily.
"Kilimanjaro Rocks" is the latest effort in a series of LHS "Rocks" events that combine music, inspiration and adventure to raise money and provide resources for those affected by cancer. Past events include concerts atop Pikes Peak in Colorado, Mt. Everest in Nepal, Machu Picchu in Peru, Mt Snowdon in Whales and the roof of the Empire State Building in New York City. LHS is also set to complete one of the largest bone marrow registration drives in history which took place all summer long at Red Rocks outdoor amphitheater in Colorado and brought together popular musicians from all over the world.
"We were wary when we announced this years "Rocks" event, the economy is struggling and fundraising has fallen short because of it. We were shocked when we filled up the trek in less than 24 hours. Each team member makes a financial and emotional commitment to raise money for people they have never met in countries most have only dreamt of going to", said Shannon Foley, LHS Executive Director. "We get to know each other through emails and our bios that are on our site. It is amazing when we all arrive in a foreign land as complete strangers yet already have a connection, united through our experiences with cancer. The day I look forward to most is when we are finally united as a group, sitting in camp chairs around a fire under the African stars and for the first time tell each other why we are here, leaving our friends and family to journey up a mountain that seems insurmountable. Each of us has a story and a reason for devoting a year of our life to train and raise funds, much like the stories of the 6,000 names we carry on our flags. This year will be especially emotional as one of those seats will be empty. Kevin Carlberg, a talented musician and extraordinary father and husband, spent the last year training and fundraising with his heart set on summiting Kilimanjaro with us to celebrate his triumph over brain cancer. Sadly, he lost his battle one month ago. We will do this climb in memory of Kevin and the countless others whom we have lost to this ever-growing disease."
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