Fundraiser Barry has a mountain to climb
AN ADVENTUROUS 70-year-old is preparing to scale the highest mountain in Africa.
Veteran fundraiser Barry Hopper, from Plympton, will join a team of 21 other charity supporters next March to climb to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro and raise money for St Luke's Hospice.
St Luke's introduced the adrenaline-filled challenge to raise vital funds for the hospice, based at Turnchapel, during its 30th anniversary year.
Having supported St Luke's since 2008, Mr Hopper will now take part in the 11 day Kilimanjaro challenge, putting his stamina to the test as he makes his way to the giddy heights of the 5,895m high peak.
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He said: "Each year I set myself a challenge. My 2012 challenge is already in progress, as I will be cycling John O' Groats to Lands End in September for St Luke's.
"When the Kilimanjaro event was made public, it seemed that the challenge for 2013 was decided for me.
"This will present me with the opportunity to raise much needed funds for the hospice, so that the wonderful work done by the charity in our local community can continue.
"Also, I am cycling from John O'Groats to Lands End with two people who did the trek in 2003 for St Luke's, and their stories have inspired me to follow in their footsteps."
And this is not the first time Mr Hopper has put himself to the test. His first fundraiser for St Luke's, to celebrate his 65th birthday, was to complete 65 races for 65 years, in which he ran over 520 miles within a year.
James King, overseas and UK challenge fundraiser for St Luke's, said: "We're thrilled that Mr Hopper is taking part in the Kilimanjaro challenge and admire his commitment to supporting St Luke's.
"We're thrilled to have a team of 22 people taking part in the challenge and are pleased to be able to offer local people the chance to do something amazing and make a real difference to the local community."
The Kilimanjaro challenge is aiming to raise over £60,000 for St Luke's Hospice, going towards the fundraising target of £4.5million each year to continue funding the specialist care that the hospice offers to local people with terminal illnesses.
The team will be training and fundraising from now up until the start of the challenge in 2013.
To sponsor Mr Hopper and the team visit: http://www.justgiving.com/StLukesTeamKilimanjaro