Announcing "Soirée for wishes" and another round of pancake mix...

There hasn't been much action on this blog for the last couple weeks... or on facebook... or on twitter... because I`ve been swamped and slightly overwhelmed in other areas of my life. As I pull myself out of the jumbled mix of good and bad, successes and mess ups of the last couple weeks... I feel like I'm coming to a point where I can think clearly again. Even though I'm still undecided about my hiking boots (ugh - who knew I had such weird feet... I always thought they were relatively "nice"!).  Anyways... 

After meeting with the owner of Le Bifthèque Boucherville this morning, I am thrilled to finally announce that tickets are officially on sale for:

 As you can imagine, I'm very excited about this fundraising activity because essentially, I get to throw a big party while raising funds for an incredibly good cause. The tickets ($50) include the cocktail, a 4 course meal (option 1: filet mignon or option 2: fish) an evening of fun and dancing and a dessert buffet sometime around midnight. I'm expecting (and hoping) that tickets will sell very quickly, but I still am offering a little special for those who buy their ticket in the very first few days of sales. Benefit from 10% off if you buy yours before September 30th!

Contact me to reserve/buy your tickets.

And that's not all...

Back by popular demand... I'm taking orders for another round of pancake mix. It's the same drill as before: $5 for 500 ml (20-24 pancakes) and $8 for 1 litre (40-50 pancakes). Send me your order (ok.with.andrea@gmail.com) by Tuesday, October 5th to have your mix in time for the next long weekend!


Can't always EXCEED expectations...

The fundraising has definitely taken a back burner these first couple of weeks of September. I'm busy at work. I'm busy at home. I'm making time to train... and after reaching the $11000 mark after the ladies brunch, I'm a little less stressed about making it to my objective before January 2011.

I had plans to make it to $12000 with the basketball tournament this coming weekend... but it seems that while the tournament should have been a relatively easy (and fun) fundraiser to organize - geared towards a specific group of people (the league my husband plays basketball with) - it may actually be cancelled because not enough teams have confirmed.

Although I'm a little disappointed, I'm not actually upset. In the end it all comes down to the fact that most people are busy... and not everyone has "Kilimanjaro" and "make-a-wish" on their brain :-)

I keep telling people that this project is a huge learning experience for me. I'm learning about fundraising (what works, what doesn't, where you make the most money for the least amount of effort). I'm learning about people and not to be surprised when things don't meet by expectations (in both good and bad ways). Compared with the incredible success of the pancake-mix or the yard sale fundraisers (which both completely exceeded my expectations) I thought the BBQ and Brunch were a lot of work for the amount of money raised... but then I thought the basketball tournament would be "easy money" and it's not looking so promising at L-3 (and counting!)...

I'm also learning that I still have a lot to learn :-)

Like when it comes to hiking equipment.

Ooof. I have no idea what I'm doing - (which makes me even more grateful for the loan of a good part of the special equipment I need from my friend Isabelle). But there are still things I need to buy "new"... just for me...

Like hiking boots... which I thought was taken care of...

I'm more than a little frustrated to say that I need to buy new hiking boots. The Merell switcbacks that I purchased a few days after signing up for this whole adventure are just barely too small. I realized this when I took my first hike at Tremblant at the beginning of August (way to late to return the boots) and my toes hit the inside when I walked downhill. I'm frusterated because I feel like I was mal-advised by the guy in the store... I'm frusterated because I should have thought to research the purchase of something as important as boots for a treck the size of Kilimanjaro. Should have, could have, would have...

Too late now... the merell's will hopefully sell for a decent price on craigslist or kijiji... as they were only worn for a total of about 2 hours!

After a trip to the local Pleinair Entrepôt I've found a couple that I really like (... and that are very comfortable - feel like they would require minimal `breaking in` - important with the first make-a-wish group hike coming up in less than 2 weeks!)

I`m doing my homework this time... and I came home with the brand and model of my favorite boots (which included the LOWA GTX, Baffin and Banff and the KayLand Colorado).
The reviews for the GTX and Baffin are through the roof. For example the GTX got a:  "FIVE THUMBS UP! The best all around hiking boot I’ve ever worn. As I’m wearing them, I would swear they were custom built just for my feet." The Baffin got: An all-leather boot still made in Germany! Such a thing is rare these days. We were happy to see these dark brown beauties - even happier when we slipped them on. The all-leather liner is a special touch... instantly comfortable. Beefy alloy lace loops won't rust and a full rubber rand. These boots should last a long time, if cared for."

Good to know... though I'm still convinced that no matter the review they have to feel good to me... as it will be my toes that they keep comfortable, dry and warm (as needed!).

I still need to check out the Mountain Equipment Co-op around the corner (literally, their newest store is within walking distance)... but the idea of getting the boots as good quality as the LOWA`s for at least 20 percent off is certainly tempting.



My first "care package" and other fun stuff...

I received my very first care package for "KILIMANJARO" in the mail last week.

While I realize that care packages usually come when you're away from home, this one was a little nontraditional in that 1) it was sent to my home and 2) it actually came from far away (Ballymoney, Northern Ireland)! In the package, however, were items that I will find very useful when I am far away from home next January - on my way to the summit of Kili.

The "sender" of this special delivery is Stephen - an old friend who was a camp counsellor with Brandon several years ago - who himself, climbed to the summit of Kilimanjaro a couple of years ago.

The package took me completely by surprise (and it's hard to surprise me - Brandon will attest to that!) and Stephen wrote a small note on each item to explain why he was sending me these things:

1) a 3.0 L Camelbak: Best bit of kit. saves stopping every 10 minutes to get bottle from your pack. iodine tablets taste id hard to get used to but after 2 days you'll drink anything! P.S. Make sure you take bottles as well. they are good to dilute energy drinks.
2) a DriStore waterproof roll top sack: Great for keeping your vital supplies dry. And I don't mean your camera batteries... I'm talking about socks, base layer & underpants.


3)Compeed Blister Gel Plasters: Thankfully I didn't need these on Kili - but I did beforehand getting the boots broken in.

Thank you so much Stephen. Not only am I encouraged by the gesture (and the thought that went into it) - I appreciate the tips. I really hope I don't need the fancy blister bandaids on the mountain... and that my feet stay happy for the entire trek! ;-)

That's not all though...

I also received a bag full of mountain equipment/clothing that I am borrowing from my colleague and dear friend Isabelle.  The bag Isabelle brought me last week has everything from base layers and cami's to an expedition jacked (doudoune) and pillow case! Her stuff is going to save me from having to buy all of my equipment new (and obviously A LOT of money!). THANK YOU ISABELLE... for more than the clothes... for being a source of knowledge and advice when it comes to both fundraising and hiking... for encouraging me and providing a whole lot of moral support since day 1 :-)

If you're curious what type of equipment a trip like this requires - check out my "equipment list".

Equipment is great... but I also have to get my personal equipment (a.k.a my body) ready for this adventure.

(click on image to view)
This past Monday I went to GLOBAL FITNESS (the gym that is sponsoring my training) for my physical evaluation. I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous... but in the end I'm pretty happy with how the eval went down.

Some important "before" stats (no point being shy now!):
Height 5 f 7 1/2
Weight 143 lbs
% body fat 23 %

The highlights...
- It was nice to have someone (who knows what they're talking about) tell me that it would be very unhealthy for me to weigh under 130 lbs.
- Richard (my trainer) identified almost immediately that I'm "quad dominant" and will be adapting my program to strengthen my hamstrings to avoid injury.
- I learned (very quickly) that I perform much better under pressure and it really does make a difference to have someone "coaching" you through an exercise. I attribute holding the plank for about 45 seconds longer than I thought I could because Rich was talking me through it and making me visualize my objectives.
- I also managed to do 10 push ups (man push ups) which may not be impressive to everyone... but trust me... I was impressed with myself!
- I'm in pretty good shape "naturally" especially considering that I haven't been working out and I've had 2 babies in the last 3 1/2 years! I certainly can't complain about that.

I have my next appointment (to get my program) on Friday and I am very anxious to get started. I know that it's important for me to be well prepared for the mountain. I plan on doing the best that I can to be in great shape AND to avoid injury due to lack of preparation.

So I guess it's obvious that I'm moving into a new "season" of Summit for Wishes prep. The fundraising is not forgotten, but it's becoming more important for me to focus on the physical prep.

à suivre (to be continued)....