Pepin Distributing Company CEO and Family Members Plan to Conquer Mount Kilimanjaro

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Tom Pepin and four of his daughters are preparing to climb the tallest mountain in Africa; raising funds for Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute.

Tom Pepin and Family

We are fortunate to have community partners like the Pepins, who are not only invested financially but are also stewards of heart health in our community.

Tom Pepin, CEO of Pepin Distributing Company, and four of his daughters are embarking on an exciting adventure to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa, and they are using the event to help patients at Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute. Tom Pepin and his daughters Allie, Cassie, Bella and Christina are scheduled to begin their trek on July 1, 2017. The estimated 10-day journey will take them to the summit of Kilimanjaro at 19,340 feet, the highest point in Africa.

In conjunction with the Pepins’ climb, the Pepin Family Foundation is organizing a fundraiser to benefit Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute. The “Pepins Conquer Kilimanjaro” campaign gives the community the chance to help conquer heart disease while the Pepins conquer the mountain.

“My daughters and I are climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to bring awareness to heart disease and to Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute, where we are focused on research to ultimately eradicate heart disease from our world,” said Tom Pepin. “We know that heart health does not happen overnight, and this ‘vacation’ for us has been a dedication of commitment and training on my family’s part for many years. We are going way out of our comfort zone and ask that you join in the journey by pledging funds of support as we climb together to conquer the mountain of heart disease and stroke!”

People who are interested in donating to the campaign can pledge online by going to FHTampa.org/Foundation and selecting “Pepins Conquer Kilimanjaro” in the navigation. Donations of any size are accepted.

“In 1989, Tom and his father, Art, began a partnership with our hospital designed to help improve cardiovascular care in our community. This has led to a decades-long relationship with the entire Pepin family that continues today with this incredible campaign,” said Jan Berry, Executive Director of the Florida Hospital Tampa Foundation. “We are fortunate to have community partners like the Pepins, who are not only invested financially but are also stewards of heart health in our community.”

Funds received from the Pepins Conquer Kilimanjaro event will benefit Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute’s Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) program. This advanced program gives patients with severe lung disease a chance to heal by bypassing their lungs with a sophisticated machine that oxygenates their blood. In most cases, ECMO is an option of last resort; it’s a truly life-saving system for critically ill patients when other treatments aren’t effective. For more information about Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute’s ECMO program, visit: youtu.be/Dk-ANM8Fvsw

About Pepin Family Foundation
Pepin Family Foundation strives to engender a positive difference in the lives of our community’s children and families through education and health care. We aim to build a better tomorrow through lasting friendships with community partners who will help to serve the most at-risk populations of children and young adults, serving their educational needs at the Pepin Academies. Additionally, we are dedicated to the quest of eradication of heart disease through research, awareness and delivery of revolutionary patient-centered care at the Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute.

About Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute
Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute, located at Florida Hospital Tampa, is a free-standing cardiovascular institute providing comprehensive cardiovascular care. Leading the way with the first accredited chest pain emergency room in Tampa Bay, the institute is among an elite few in the state of Florida chosen to perform the ground breaking Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure and was the first in Tampa to offer the Watchman procedure to prevent blood clots in patients with atrial fibrillation. Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute and the Dr. Kiran C. Patel Research Institute, affiliated with the University of South Florida (USF), are exploring and conducting leading-edge research to develop breakthrough treatments long before they are available in most other hospitals. To learn more, visit FHPepinHeart.org.

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Meghan Mackenzie, Communications Coordinator