At the last meeting we took advantage of Zoom to hear a delightful speaker from Colorado, Brittney "Bert" Woodrum.  Brittney has worked for several non-profits and now works for ShelterBox, a spin-off of Rotary International.  Bill Tobin of EDH Rotary and ShelterBox introduced Bert to us.  Brittney graduated from the U. of Kentucky only 6 years ago and has already worked for NGOs in Mexico, Thailand, Myanmar, Hong Kong and now ShelterBox in the USA. For more information on that organization and all the good they do for disaster relief around the globe visit ShelterBox.org.

Most recently Brittney obtained a graduate certificate from Denver University in Humanitarian Assistance, teaches Spanish and is a Rotary Peace Scholar candidate. Her physical accomplishments include being a tri-athlete and marathon runner, through-hiking both the Camino de Santiago and the Appalachian Trail, and cycling across America to raise more than $50K for Habitat for Humanity.

During the pandemic last Spring, she was inspired to climb all 58 of Colorado's 14,000+ ft. peaks, known as Fourteeners, all with the iconic ShelterBox on her back.  This added to the difficulty immensely, since not only did the ShelterBox and its gear weigh 12-14 pounds, but it acted like a sail in the high winds which are common above 10,000 ft.  July and August tend to be the only good months for climbing these peaks, but September 2020 was unusually nice and Bert finished the 58 peaks in only 78 days, when the feat typically gets spread across two summers for most climbers.  She inspired several Rotary clubs to support her on the climbs but also raise far more than typical amounts of funds for ShelterBox.  By the conclusion of the climbs, she had more than reached her goal of $1,400 per peak = $82,000.  At this date, the publicity for the climbs has resulted in a total of about $90K raised for ShelterBox.

If you want to hear more from this lively and inspiring speaker, Brittney Woodrum, and see more visuals from the trek, you can review the first part of the Zoom meeting, recorded on Facebook at this link -- starting at about the 4:15 point.