Chicago Father and Son Team to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro for ShelterBox

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A Chicago father and son team will begin a long trek to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania on July 22 to benefit ShelterBox, a Rotary international disaster relief charity specializing in emergency shelter assistance.

Mark (left) and Eric Dyer take a break after mountain climbing in northeastern New Mexico last year. The Elmhurst father and son team will scale Mount Kilimanjaro in July climb to benefit ShelterBox, a Rotary international disaster relief charity.

Kilimanjaro is the highest point in Africa and considered one of the world's seven major summits. It is also a symbol of the continent where ShelterBox has delivered disaster relief tents and humanitarian aid to tens of thousands of victims.

A Chicago father and son team will begin a long trek to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania on July 22 to benefit ShelterBox, a Rotary international disaster relief charity specializing in emergency shelter assistance.    

Rotarian Mark Dyer, a ShelterBox Response Team member, and his son, Eric, will join 12 other members from the United Kingdom for the climb to raise awareness and funds for the 10-year anniversary of ShelterBox. While in Tanzania, the group will also spend three days working on a project at a local elementary school.

“Kilimanjaro is the highest free-standing mountain in the world, rising to 19,400 feet. It is the highest point in Africa and considered one of the world's seven major summits. It is also a symbol of the continent where ShelterBox has delivered disaster relief tents and humanitarian aid to tens of thousands of victims,” Mark Dyer says.

In 2009, Mark spent seven weeks in Africa on ShelterBox humanitarian missions. In Somaliland, he helped provide shelter to internally displaced persons fleeing the civil unrest in the southern part of the country. He spent the month of October in Niger, West Africa, distributing equipment and special disaster relief tents to victims of flash flooding that left 30,000 people homeless.

Eric graduated from York High School in June and will be attending the University of Illinois this fall. He is an Eagle Scout, a ShelterBox volunteer and an experienced trekker. He created a logo for the Kilimanjaro trip in his York screen-printing class and has been selling t-shirts with the proceeds going to ShelterBox. He also made a banner with logos of the sponsors and signatures of the people who have contributed to the project that will be carried to the top of the mountain. The Dyers plan to photograph the banner and send pictures to all the donors.

Several local businesses, organizations and members of Mark’s Elmhurst Rotary Club have made pledges and contributions toward sponsoring the trip.

Funds raised by the climbers will benefit ShelterBox and its mission to deliver “Shelter, Warmth, Comfort and Dignity” to victims of natural and man-made disasters.

The worldwide disaster relief agency has delivered aid to victims of more than 135 disasters around the world and to more than 850,000 people.

In addition to the corporate sponsorships, the group has set a goal of raising a minimum of $20,000 to support the work of ShelterBox. For further information or to make a contribution, contact Markdyer1@comcast.net or call 1-630-531-4599.

About ShelterBox

Since its inception in 2000, ShelterBox (http://www.shelterboxusa.org) has provided shelter and dignity following over 100 disasters in more than 70 countries, bringing the organization to the forefront of international disaster relief. ShelterBox instantly responds to earthquake, volcano, flood, hurricane, cyclone, tsunami or conflict by delivering boxes of aid. In many cases, ShelterBoxes have made the difference between life and death.

Each ShelterBox supplies an extended family of up to 10 people with a tent and lifesaving equipment to use while they are displaced or homeless. The contents are tailored depending on the nature and location of the disaster, with great care taken sourcing every item to ensure it is robust enough to be of lasting value. Highly trained ShelterBox Response Teams distribute boxes on the ground, working closely with local organizations, international aid agencies and Rotary clubs worldwide.

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Alan Monroe
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